Wednesday, December 9th, 2009...1:24 am

roger singer | the hurt song & other poems

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Trio 3 | Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman, Andrew Cyrille | November 5, 2009 Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque | Photos by Mark Weber

THE HURT SONG

The roots of the hurt song
snares the ankles of me, trapping me
in a tangle; the twisting binds me
tighter as the visions speak.

The arrows of my jazz strikes from
hotel room shadows; strange faces
angrily cross over me.
Towns fail to call me home.
My hands are suitcases, reaching to go.

My foot slaps to the beat of release,
like a window of escape or a road
leading away.

Behind my face the music builds,
filling the back parts of me,
releasing on the stairs of my steps
where I see it all.

Trio 3 | Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman, Andrew Cyrille | November 5, 2009 Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque | Photos by Mark Weber

LOOKING DOWN

Without the singing,
the song is a child without a voice.

Like an easterly sun,
she lifts healing with her words.

The salt of flavor runs with overflow,
rising in a drowning of jazz and her.

Altars of eyes kneel worshiping
with understanding, owning the pain she feels.

Tree tops wave to passing clouds;
she sees the land from there,
weeping for faces left behind.

Trio 3 | Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman, Andrew Cyrille | November 5, 2009 Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque | Photos by Mark Weber

ONLY THE NOTES

Purposed with feeling
and perfect timing,
his fingers crawl
on the guitar
like a river
commanding space
between valleys

Years of sound
wash from him
like a fever
sending deep chills
on the crowd
like a hammer
settling fast.

The music mixes
jazz and life,
collecting thick
on listeners
as they applaud,
but he hears
only the notes.

1 Comment

  • The camera for these shots is an old beat-up early 70s Olympus 35RC that ex-saxophonist Tom Guralnick gave me (he runs the Outpost Performance Space), it’s a rangefinder. That’s a type of camera. It’s as different from an SLR as an electric guitar is from a classical guitar. I load it up with either Tri-X or HP-5 and shoot it 400ASA usually wide open at 1/60th or 1/30th. You don’t get any more basic than that. I love it. It’s my first rangefinder. Part of my new aesthetic is not to shoot a million shots but to only snap 5 or 6 maybe ten at most. Sort of like Robert Frank, just point at whatever is happening and let the camera do the work. Sometimes I only shoot 3 photos at the concert. And those were as an after-thought. I’m mostly there to listen. These pix curiously fit Mr Singers poems, wow. Thanks, Tom, for the camera, you’re the best!

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