Wednesday, July 16, 2014 Joan McNerney

Today, as the weather in Rockville, MD cools down for a spell, I'd like to share with you Joan McNerney's lovely, atmospheric poem "Jazz."  It is not inspired by a specific artist or song but by her immersion in Greenwich Village's jazz scene.  She mentions having read some of her early poetry to the accompaniment of Karl Berger on the vibes as well as experiencing the "startling energy" of Gene Krupa's drumming.


the kitchen sits
in fruit soup...
steamed apricot
mango shadow

down thru spinning
smoke into hot light
blink beat

body ends dangle
lead eye skin cement
high on tongue

night pasted among
buildings Styrofoam clouds
moon hung beneath billboard

rolling pass wet
rocked streets
soul tramp
diamond panhandlers watch
paper birds slices of
the daily news drift in air

comes cool ether
whispers up door
climbing dusty corridor

tree windows lapping lisp
door slams again noise again
then none void nothing syncopates
noise again door slams tree bare frozen

caught in the image of 7 candles
within 7 candles flames of air
7 light bulbs growing out of each other
7 silver circles coined from 7 silver rings

clear as blazing sheets
of glass yet
vague as dust
an ice cube on wood table
in front of crushed velvet

when this sky now boiling with
stars is strapped black
in pinched air thru sucked mind
swimming pass spaced time
will be one silent
note up.

Here are links to Karl Berger's work over the years:

For Gene Krupa's work, see these links:

Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Spectrum, three Bright Spring Press Anthologies and several Kind of A Hurricane Publications.  She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net.  Poet and Geek recognized her work as their best poem of 2013.  Four of her books have been published by fine small literary presses and she has three e-book titles.

Twelve Months, one of her e-books, is available at Kind of a Hurricane Press' bookstore:

There is still time to send your poems to this "contest."  For more details about what I am looking for, see this entry:

Some possible topics are Latin Jazz, the act of performance, the lives of musicians, women in jazz, and perhaps even musicians who do not play the piano!!  

Watch this space for how you can vote in this contest and what the prize will be!!

For the previous poems that I've posted, see the links below:

We'll start with poems by Felino A. Soriano and a haiku by Gabrielle Grunau.

For more of Felino's poems and Kuroda's music, see this link:

Felino and H. Holt are also collaborating on a project linking word and image:

It's really cool that they are using Pinterest to present poetry!  (A number of journals are on Tumblr, so it's really not surprising.  But it is.)

H. Holt's poem "Meliana exorcism" recently appeared in The Song Is...

You may also like Avis D. Matthews' "Metaphorical":


  1. Joan's poem definitely evokes the feeling of jazz music or what I imagine it to be like. Well done!

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Sandy. :) Hope all is well with you and yours.