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this week in jazz

Jazz Poetry

   An Amateur's Guide to the Arts
    
 ©2006 by Roberto Bonazzi

     Listening with passionate enthusiasm to classical music and jazz creates the illusion that we can compose, improvise and master any instrument.
     Reading poetry with the same passion creates the illusion that we can compose literary forms, reinvent language and project any voice that we can imagine.
     Music and language emerge from our silent anticipation but both return to that silence beyond our mastery.

—San Antonio, July 2006

   

 
  Refrain Trane
    
©2006 by Roberto Bonazzi

Trane don't run on no tracks.
Jazz don't play station to station.

Schedules and maps lay obsolete.
Only detours hear its true terrain.

Loco motion unafraid of the dark.
Rhythm section always on time.

Jazz don't play station to station.
Trane don't run on no tracks.

   
    Poet Roberto Bonazzi is the founder of Latitudes Press and author of Fictive Music, Living the Borrowed Life, and Man in the Mirror: John Howard Griffin and the Story of Black Like Me. His poems and short stories have been published in numerous magazines, anthologies and reviews. Naomi Shihab Nye in the Texas Observer calls him "a legendary figure in Texas letters" and writes of his "integrity, authenticity, and caring, disciplined work." His column "Poetic Diversity" appears in the San Antonio Express-News.    

  The Window, La Ventana
      ©2006 by Jacinto Jesús Cardona

The window, la ventana, la ventana santa
ever vigilant ventana
window of insomnia, la ventana voraz
que nunca en paz
descansa

The window, la ventana la la la
la ventana, la ventana
la ventana la la la
se habla vanitas y mucha más

La ventana, la ventana la la la
strips veneer like Shakespeare
la ventana understands
man is indeed a “giddy thing.”

The window, la ventana la la la
vainglorious vitamin swig
for the passing hoi polloi

Unable to resist the pull of plate glass
they cannot but genuflect
on their anemic ligaments
before the genius of their reflections

The window, la ventana santa
la ventana cotidiana
reveling en el canto
de todo el santo día

The window, la ventana santa
la ventana la la la
 
    Jacinto Jesús Cardona, a National Endowment for the Humanities Visiting Scholar at Boston University and Harvard, is the recipient of the 1999 Trinity University Prize for Excellence in Teaching and the 2002 Ford Salute to Education award for outstanding achievement in the fine arts. His poetry has been featured on National Public Radio and in Ray Santisteban's documentary Voices from Texas and published in numerous collections and anthologies. He now teaches English at Incarnate Word High School and creative writing for the Upward Bound Program at Trinity University. "The Window, La Ventana" was inspired by bassist Joël Dilley's album of the same name.    

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