Jazz Poems

Jazz Poems


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes




Jazz Poems

By Roger Singer


 When Songs Repeat

An evening breeze,

Lazy with attitude

Rolled quietly

Over tree tops,

While music runs thick

Like spiced gumbo,

Making the air

Smell of jazz.


A pearl covered

Worn harmonica,

Like the frayed collar

Or a work shirt

Breathed with intention,

Gasping at notes,

Pulling them hard

Into blended sounds.


A man with a guitar

Half humming words

And speaking others,

Brushed his strings

While his foot slapped

Dirt into dust

And smiled rightly

Like a Sunday sermon.


Teams of fireflies

Dodged running children,

While the fat tail

Of a dozing cat

Stirred restlessly

Like tossing minds

On moist nights

When songs repeat.


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Like a Snake


The band

Lines up

With horns

In front

Like soldiers

Without guns

Lifting air

And blowing

Life into

Waiting ears


The skins

From the

Drummer snap

To attention

And the piano

Man dances

His troubled

Thin fingers

Making dreams

Come true

As the bass

Strums fat

At the side

Where shadows

Spit and swirl

Like a snake

Feeling the

Vibes with

His tongue

Then slithers

To the


Belting out

A jazzy tune.


*   *   *   *   *


Second Row Seat


 The voice of jazz

Smiled faintly,

Strummed lightly

From strings

Of a moaning bass

Onto my ears with delight.


Piano notes

Like black

Long winged

Drifting fire flies

Touched my soul

With finger taps.


Sizzling cymbals,

Heart beat vibrations,

Sounds thin and long,

Filaments of life,

A slice of pie,

And a frosted glass of beer.


Loose collars,

Shirt sleeves

Rolled back,

Like the rhythm,

Washing over me,

In my second row seat.


*   *   *   *   *


Trombone Man


Gray moons falling,

Reflections jump

From the curve

Of the trombone

Onto lovers eyes

At tables in shadows.


Fans on the ceiling,

Smoky air propellers,

Spinning planets

With wooden wings

Lazily twirl

Over dancers far below.


Blackened windows

Seal the outside

From entering

Where jazz players

Create curtains with notes

Fanning the crowd.


The trombone

With its curves,

Slides into levels

Like children and candy;

Licks and sweetness,

Lips and tongues.


Hips sway in lust,

While sweaty palms

Play patting juba

On willing thighs

As fat winds

Soak the air.

Dr. Singer served as a med-tech at MacDill AFB in Tampa Florida for three in half years during the Vietnam era.  While stationed at MacDill he attended evening classes through the University of Tampa.  When discharged he began studies at the University of South Florida attaining his Associate and Bachelor degrees.  In 1977, Dr. Singer attained his doctorate in chiropractic from Logan College of Chiropractic, St. Louis, Missouri.  Dr. Singer has served on Legislative and Practice Management committees for the American Chiropractic Association, lecturing at a number of chiropractic colleges in the United States, Canada and Australia, and has authored over 50 articles pertaining to chiropractic management and legal guidelines for associates.  He has maintained a solo practice for the past 30 years.  He has four children; Abigail 27, Caleb 26 (a captain and airborne Army Ranger, who will be returning to Iraq for his second tour of duty in August, 2007), Andrew 23 and Philip 20.

Roger Singer / PO Box 2501 / Glenville, NY  12325-2501 / 518-399-3810 /

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update 12 December 2011




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