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Best Famous James A Emanuel Poems

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by James A Emanuel | |

« Im A Jazz Singer » She Replied

 He dug what she said:
bright jellies, smooth marmalade
spread on warm brown bread.
"Jazz" from drowsy lips orchids lift to honeybees floating on long sips.
"Jazz": quick fingerpops pancake on a griddle-top of memories.
"Jazz": mysterious as nutmeg, missing fingers, gold, Less serious.
"Jazz": cool bannister.
Don't need no stair.
Ways to climb when the sax is there.

by James A Emanuel | |

Bojangles And Jo

 Stairstep music: ups,
downs, Bill Robinson smiling,
jazzdancing the rounds.
She raised champagne lips, danced inside banana hips.
All Paris wooed Jo.
Banana panties, perfumed belt, Jazz tatooing lush ecstasies felt.
Josephine, royal, jewelling her dance, flushing the bosom of France.

by James A Emanuel | |

Emmett Till *

 I hear a whistling
Through the water.
Little Emmett Won't be still.
He keeps floating Round the darkness, Edging through The silent chill.
Tell me, please, That bedtime story Of the fairy River Boy Who swims forever, Deep in treasures, Necklaced in A coral toy.
* In 1955, Till, a fourteen-year-old from Chicago, for allegedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi, was murdered by white men who tied a gin mill fan around his neck and threw his body into the Tallahatchie River.

by James A Emanuel | |

The Treehouse

 To every man
His treehouse,
A green splice in the humping years,
Spartan with narrow cot
And prickly door.
To every man His twilight flash Of luminous recall of tiptoe years in leaf-stung flight; of days of squirm and bite that waved antennas through the grass; of nights when every moving thing was girlshaped, expectantly turning.
To every man His house below And his house above— With perilous stairs Between.

by James A Emanuel | |

Charlie Bird Parker

 Once Ugly Duckling,
rich plumage grew.
Poised, Bird flew.
Flocks followed.
Me too.

by James A Emanuel | |

The Young Ones Flip Side

 In tight pants, tight skirts,
Stretched or squeezed,
Youth hurts,
Crammed in, bursting out,
Flesh will sing
And hide its doubt
In nervous hips, hopping glance,
Usurping rouge,
Provoking stance.
Put off, or put on, Youth hurts.
And then It's gone.

by James A Emanuel | |

A Fool For Evergreen

 A little bit of fool in me
Hides behind my inmost tree
And pops into the narrow path
I walk blindfolded by my wrath
Or shrunken by some twist of pain,
Some hope that will not wind again.
He ogles with his antic eyes and somersaults a you're-not-wise Until the patches in his pants Go colorwheeling through my glance So fast that I cannot recall That I was mad or sad at all.
A little bit of fool in me Keeps evergreen my inmost tree.

by James A Emanuel | |

Ella Fitzgerald

 Pin- La- SCATS :
 ball dy
tis- tas- bumps
 ket raps ket, back.
yel- bas- Wins low ket.

by James A Emanuel | |

Louis Armstrong And Duke Ellington

 Satchmo's warm burlap,
Duke's cool cashmere: fine fabrics
make your love "Come here!"

by James A Emanuel | |


 EVERYTHING is jazz:
snails, jails, rails, tails, males, females,
snow-white cotton bales.
Knee-bone, thigh, hip-bone.
Jazz slips you percussion bone classified "unknown.
" Slick lizard rhythms, cigar-smoke tunes, straight-gin sky laced with double moons.
Second-chance rhythms, don't-give-up riffs: jazz gets HIGH off can'ts, buts, and ifs.

by James A Emanuel | |

Mahalia Jackson

 « I sing the LORD'S songs »
(palms once tough to stay alive,
alarm clock on five).
Cinnamon cheeks, Lord, cornbread smile.
SONGS feed your ribs when you're hungry, chile.
Washboard certainties, soldierly grace, text and style in her brimming face.
Your hand on your heart, her voice in your ear: pilgrim, rest easy.
Sit here.

by James A Emanuel | |

Wishes For Alix

 Always searching, may you find;
if you run-down,
may you wind;
every year
may you grow
reaping only
what you sow
sowing only in the seed
what will ripen into need
what will sweeten to the touch
seeming little, being much.
May your playmates be a song, may your friends just skip along laughing you into their game letting you remain the same in their hearts and on their lips even when their fingertips have to let you go your way— glad they saw Alix today.

by James A Emanuel | |

John Coltrane

 "Love Supreme," JA-A-Z train,
prompt lightning-express, but made ALL local stops.

by James A Emanuel | |

False Notions Fears And Other Things Of Wood

 Repeatedly, that sturdy stump in me
bears up like stone,
beneath some ritual I see:
the blinding axe
swings up, holds,
that moment of its weightlessness
till I confirm the arm is mine;
I will it, grip,
feel moist the swelling handle,
the shudder rude,
the difference fallen.
Toward that chopping block I carry in me woodthings— infectious undergrowth pretending upwards through each stem and branch of me— all so certain of themselves they practice, like pains, the craft of being.
They try to wrench away before we reach that stump, my woodthings and I, they weakening in its brightness, in my luminous saying "I must go, must go to the chopping block.
" They know the brutal business of my thinking; I know they have no charity nor memory to return the way they came— came not from wilderness, nor forest, nor living trees.
Their craft and strength I test— and mine— at the chopping block.

by James A Emanuel | |

Four-Letter Word

 Four-letter word JAZZ:
naughty, sexy, cerebral,
but solarplexy.

by James A Emanuel | |

For A Depressed Woman

My friends do not know.
But what could my friends not know? About what? What friends? II She sleeps late each day, stifling each reason to rise, choked into the quilt.
III "I'll never find work.
" She swallows this thought with pills, finds tears in the glass.

by James A Emanuel | |

Michael Jackson

 There ain't NO-BO-DY
can dance like THAT, 'cept them twins
Jazzlene and Jazzphat.

by James A Emanuel | |


 Lid's on, steam's risin':
collard greens, Lord, bubblin' JAZZ!
That's appetizin'.