Sunday, October 18, 2015

A.J. Huffman's "I Am High" and "In the Shadow of Song"

This picture predates Ella Fitzgerald's Memorex commercials by quite a few years, but I thought I'd post it with A.J. Huffman's new poems.  Plus, Ray Brown is in the picture somewhere, and I've been listening to a lot of YouTube videos where he accompanies the featured musician.  Finally, Ella (and Dizzy Gillespie who is in the picture) are among the jazz musicians born in the 1910s, the subject of one of my fall contests:

On to A.J.'s poems!

I Am High

note, hit.  On pitch,
in perfect key.  I
dominate.  The rest
of the song/of the performance
disappears, becomes my
shadow.  I, alone,
resonate, sounding.
Listen cautiously, I can shatter

In the Shadow of Song

I am treble
                   clef, locked in sound-
proof basement.  My reflection drips
        faceless death of upper registers.
My right hand is numb; my left is bleeding.
I am not sure which is supposed to
symbolize my empathy with instrumental
gods.  A brassy shade of bitter
belligerence is my legacy.  Wingless, I am
no angel.  My heart is strung,
hangs like a harp.

A.J. Huffman has published eleven solo chapbooks and one joint chapbook through various small presses. Her new poetry collections, Another Blood Jet (Eldritch Press) and A Few Bullets Short of Home (mgv2>publishing) are now available from their respective publishers.   She has two additional poetry collections forthcoming: Degeneration from Pink Girl Ink, and A Bizarre Burning of Bees from Transcendent Zero Press.  She is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and has published over 2200 poems in various national and international journals, includingLabletter, The James Dickey Review, Bone Orchard, EgoPHobia, and Kritya. She is also the founding editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press. 

Let's listen to some Ella then.

Here she sings "How High the Moon":

I also wanted to include her version of "Cottontail":

Here she sings "Flyin' Home" with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker backing her.

I didn't know that there was a version of "Night in Tunisia" with lyrics:

We'll finish with her "Don't Get Around Much Anymore":

Below is a picture of Ella from 1940.  Carl Van Vechten was the photographer.


  1. Thanks Marianne. I enjoyed Ella's pictures, and it's always good to see Amy's poems.

  2. well done, A J, as are all your poetic/press endeavors - ayaz daryl nielsen