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Hank Kalet


    for Annie


Must recover the light
like morning
                             he said
likening his empty feeling to a
broken lamp
broken   light bulb
                                        silence –


like the low keen of the devout,
a gurgling vibrato
cantor wrapping lips around
the spiritual sounds
the quavering lips of Miles Davis
a wavering reverb on his
brass mouthpiece singing through
the deep belly of his marvelous trumpet
      Trane restringing the melody through his
mystical mind
a perfect reconstruction of the Temple in
reconnective sound and fury
Ornette’s dyspeptic chaos
a competing contrary contravention of the
coolest of sounds
his horn jamming against the double quartets
working in rhythm creating
a careful contradiction of swing -

jazz is
                  that sound that pumps from
crooked sheets
the aural backdrop to
grainy images of
                         laundry on clotheslines
cigarette butts tossed to curbsides
a car at a stoplight
engine idling as the driver leans over to his
lady passenger and
digs his tongue deep into her soul -


Smoky voice like Sinatra on Reprise jigging
deep in some half-alone ballad soaked in
booze and sweat and sex
reeling from the brush-stroked drums in a
rat pack rhythm that speaks to the
desire deep in the gut that
recalls for me the
supple subtle surrender of your
salacious sex as my
eyes trace your contour from floor to ceiling
that smoky voice in mind gives way to
tympanis and drums,
a symphony led by the torrid drum attack of Elvin Jones
raising the elemental heat to a
fitful, furtive finale
a rapturous rapprochement -

©2007 by Hank Kalet
Hank Kalet is the author of the chapbook, Suburban Pastoral, and the editor of The Other Half, a literary journal published by Voices of Reason, which uses poetry and music to raise money and awareness of hunger issues in Central New Jersey. He is managing editor of the South Brunswick Post and the Cranbury Press and is a political columnist for the Progressive Populist. His poetry and journalism have been published in dozens of small-press journals and magazines, including Big Hammer, The Journal of New Jersey Poets, the Writer's Gallery, Big Scream, the Aquarian Weekly, the Free Press, and City Belt. See more of his work at his blog and at Hank Kalet's Poetic Blues.

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