Tag Team Champs

April 10, 2008

dirty dick murdoch
and I shared the mic
on Mama Tried
with a whiskey twang
of too much jack
and a left over
choke hold

after a championship
ready to body slam
the world–we took
the stage with the
Cadillac Cowboys
in midtown
and became merle
and lefty
two of the
toughest sonsabitches
ever to sing
off key


All That Jazz

January 10, 2008

The next two poems are tributes to the jazz era in my hometown of Kansas City. “Meet me at Milton’s” is actually a found poem exactly as it appeared in the KC Star–I added the title. Milton ran this for years as I was growing up there. One of his first clubs, The Hey, Hay Club was actually a barn. The band played from a wagon and the customers sat on hay bales. Count Basie played here. As was the custom in this time period the clubs never closed and the bands played from 8 pm to 4 am. During prohibition, Milton had a sign that read “Marijuana and Whiskey 25 cents” He figured what the heck, both were illegal. Milton went on to own several more clubs and promote the jazz he loved.

The second poem, “KC Jazz Angels” is my attempt at a jazz poem.

K.C. Jazz Angels

January 10, 2008

A memorial to Charlie Parker outside the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, MO.

K.C. Jazz Angels

For Milton

Bill Basie playing sweet riffs

Swinging “One O’Clock Jump”

12th Street, Reno Club

Lester Young’s sweet tenor sax blowin’

chorus with the Count




Jazz Angels

Wild jump blues, shake the bandstand

Marijuana smoke dances

drifts from the band

Charlie Parker too young to blow

leans over the balcony

listens to Lester, blowmanblow.

Woodsheds on stoops,

back alleys, waiting for the nod.




Jazz Angels

Yeah, man that was Jazz.