Have You Ever Been A Saxophone

Have You Ever Been A Saxophone


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes




Selected Poems from

Nia: Haiku, Sonnets, Sun Songs

By neo-griot Kalamu ya Salaam




Books by Kalamu ya Salaam


The Magic of JuJu: An Appreciation of the Black Arts Movement  /   360: A Revolution of Black Poets

Everywhere Is Someplace Else: A Literary Anthology  /  From A Bend in the River: 100 New Orleans Poets

Our Music Is No Accident   /  What Is Life: Reclaiming the Black Blues Self

My Story My Song (CD)


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Alvin Red Tyler CDs


Heritage / Simply Red / Graciously / Rockin and Rollin  


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Have You Ever Been a Saxophone


                                           By Kalamu ya Salaam


a breath blown

softly intoned through curved metal

tubing blew in dazzling duo with the germane glow of life

gleaming in the gloaming of a gardenia-honeyed evening


have you ever

been a song sung in lyrical falsetto

a melody of sensitivity and sincerity

ear caressing, confessing yes, yes love is a sweet wonder


have you ever

ridden a funky rift with the amazing grace

of a soft shoe toe tapper patting out a discreet beat

as you lightly and politely step through the gentle rush

of the erotic movement of slow sucking the tender of ten tan toes


have you ever

nimbly negotiated complex changes

with moves so smooth you make silk seem rough

as you unerringly address each emotional moment calling coitus

by its familiar names like saying heart be still, skin stop trembling

when i come to see you i’m running cause walking is much too slow


have you ever

been a saxophone, a red saxophone gently blown tenderly as red tyler

resplendently fingering the keys of our feelings, his horn a house

of joy from which dew drops as he smiles, winks and slips unobtrusively

back into the mouth of god, the only womb from which such a magnificent

musician could possibly issue


alvin red tyler, a red saxophone

when i grow to full maturity, that’s the sound i want to be!



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Mourning the Passing of Alvin “Red” Tyler

Alvin “Red” Tyler died April 3, 1998, age 72 of natural causes. It is with great sadness that we report his passing of this jazz legend. Mr. Tyler, a long time saxophonist on many New Orleans Jazz recordings, performed with Germaine Bazzle, Little Richard, Dr. John, and Fats Domino, recorded on hundreds of other records, and even recorded two of his own albums for Rounder Records. He was part of the mostly overlooked New Orleans group of modernists which included Ed Blackwell, Alvin Batiste and Ellis Marsalis.

His writing and playing reveal the controlled, pastel quality of Wayne Shorter’s work, informed by New Orleans’ rhythmic pragmatism and Tyler’s obvious interest in new harmonies and structure. Red was a wonderful sax player, and he will be greatly missed, particularly at the Jazz and Heritage Festival.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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update 31 March 2010



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Related file:  Germaine Bazzle

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