Thursday, June 01, 2000

David Ruslander

59th Street

A black stiletto heel rests against granite
the cornerstone on 59th street.
Long bent leg reveals her garter belt
white stockings under a red mini skirt.

Sequined top, eye catching
pledges allegiance
lifting Marilyn Monroe off her neck.
The breeze refreshing

she blows you away.
Across the street
the pusher deals
from the bottom of the deck.

Suits scramble for the blue train
cellular phones stuck in their ears,
have your people call mine,
buy me some of that IPO.

A necklace of yellow cabs
links the avenues, interspersed
with black pearl limousines
Marilyn puts one on.


A bluesy haze hung over your Birdland.
Black & white faces played in your band.

Heads bobbing to musical spacings
watching and hearing your sax playing.

Everyone loves Charlie 'Bird' Parker.
But Charlie, you found places darker and darker.

Woodsheding all summer made you a king.
Man you learned to make that horn sing.

Your flatted fifth changes turned jazz on its head.
You were the reed-man you know it was said.

Oh, Cherokee, baby, what luxury,
who could forget that night at Savoy?

Your self-medication did so much harm.
Poppy was always on your right arm.

Nobody squeezed so many notes in one line.
You played yourself out in one-third time.

The Black Dog

Amber waves of grass blowing in warm summer sun
rolling over California hillsides brings a song to the breeze.
While the grasses appear dying the roots still live.
When they drink upon the autumn rains green stems return;
things are not always as they seem.
While walking through this flowing grass sea
I contemplate the cycles coming and going,
calm, stormy, dark, and light.
A startled covey of quail rises into the sky
and the black dog runs through the fields of gold.

Dave Ruslander: I am manic depressive.

Melissa Marino Shayne Walls David Ruslander Peter Timusk John Exell

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