Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Michael J. Vaughn

On Listening

                                         On Listening

to Louis Prima and Keely Smith after an

        Evening with                        Michelle

                                                     The rough

                                                       and the


                                                      butterfly on


                                                      they razz

                                                      each other

                                                      the wheedling

                                                       piano the ride

                                                       cymbal the

                                                       black magic

                                                        is under

                                                        my skin



                                                        like an Italian

                                                       jalopy. Dancing      with

                                                        buffet tables           necking

                                                        in the street             so flippity-

                                                       flop this catch        in the breath this

                                                       tiny gap these      wheelworn highways

                                                         who meet         after midnight. Candles

                                                        flaming Cy      still singing black

                                                       wax puddles    the icing as Paul

                                                       cries “We’re   gonna burn the

                                                       place down!” a fiery birthday

                                                         chaos that opens to my

                                                        hazel satellite watercress

                                                        smile map to my cellular

                                                       wish and how she got

                                                        there I really don’t.

                                                       Jersey jester Cherokee

                                                          fox whack me a

                                                       roadsign sailing home

                                                        at ridiculous hours

                                                       chapped lips fingers

                                                        buzzing the rhythm

                                                        the rhythm the

                                                            song the






©2008 by Michael J. Vaughn

Michael J. Vaughn is the author of seven novels, including the comic sex mystery Double Blind. His poems have appeared in, Many Mountains Moving, and The Montserrat Review. He is a frequent contributor to Writer's Digest, and creator of two blogs, Operaville and Writerville. His interest in shape poems was inspired by a WD assignment which included an interview with legendary shape poet John Hollander. The shape here is a tenor saxophone, the instrument played by Louis Prima's bandleader, Sam Butera.

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