Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Old Times

45 and rainy.  How much

we thought he lied.  His 'fever illness'

causing him to walk with a cane,

his track/field University life before,

his dual names as 'cultural I.D.'.

And her.  Her tongue wagged, good

gossipy tales, with knit brows,

self-righteously taut as a sexual breath,

her blush, her chuckle, her fingering 

lift of the Dry Sémillon, epicurean quaff.

And now.  Her on machines, him blind,

missing the imperfections we all share.



  1. Ah, Trulyfool- a life or two...filled with gossip and Dry Semillion...hopefully even in his blindness he can hear the beauty of Greta's voice and remember and remember ....letting the rain come, as it will, as it may...bkm

  2. Very good writing, creative. I like the combination of words and image!

  3. Greetings! How are you?

    I am Blaga, Community Consultant Assistant from Jingle Poetry : http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com/

    You are welcome to join us this Sunday for our Monday Poetry Potluck Week 21, we are open 8pm, American Central, will remain open for 72 hours,

    First time participant is encouraged to share 1 to 3 random poems or poems unrelated to our theme.

    Sign in to follow our blog if you can!

    Week 21 Theme: Aims, Goals, and Ambitions


  4. You make me cry with this nostalgia,i can' t understand all the hints because i' m not american, but i feel the pain when you look backward ,intelligence and sensuality shouldn't be submitted to corruption.

  5. "...self-righteously taut as a sexual breath" is a fabulous line. I wish I had thought of it!

    Life. It all comes down to machines and blindness. Why do I love your existentialism so much?

  6. Barbara,

    I've managed to keep nostalgia in this blog to a minimum since it's so tempting. I push it to irony instead. But this case came to me recently, and I found myself not able to shake it.

    Neither the personal catastrophes nor the potency of memory.

    Greta M fits the picture, yes. Her work came to me first a bit over 20 years ago. She carries on the jazz/cabaret tradition well.

    (I can still imagine the wine).


  7. scent,

    Thank you for the kind assessment. I did like it too!


  8. Blaga (of scent)

    . . . oh, and thank you for that invitation. I'll go back. (Tried before).


  9. Isabelle,

    Your sensitivity has for some time been apparent to me. Much of the referential material simply refers to the 'people', the 'characters', so think 'universal'.

    As to the setting, it may help to think 'San Francisco' and particularly its richer suburbs. Pretty city. Liberal thoughts. Peacock feathers. Hot tubs. Pleasure.



  10. Tess,

    I think you definitely pinpointed the strongest phrasing in this. The line tapped me on the shoulder when I thought 'What can sharpen this, give it some psychological oomph?'

    Normally self-questioning like that yields zero. This time something slid in.

    As to my existentialism, let me existentially admit that I don't know where my 'bravado' ends and honesty begins.

    What might be my take -- I could ask myself -- at the actual moment of the machines or the blindness?

    (For now, I rely on electronic diversions and 'social outreach' of this 'intellectually creative' kind. Thank you for being there!)


  11. A shattering look at the frailty of the mask when life comes down hard. Caustic but not without empathy, a difficult and I think, rather mature place to be. And who can know what that point is truly like without being there? Like so many things, it would depend on a myriad of variables...I know the idea of losing control itself seems more frightening than death, speaking personally...

  12. Joy,

    If I were to violate my usual distance from the "based on a true event" extrinsic self-validation, I might say that if such people existed they were not destitute nor of a mind that couldn't accept things and deal with them.

    I would say that if I ever hopped outside my fictive world.

    As to losing control, I think I may never do that. Oh, yes, I panic frequently per day, grow frightened or enraged, worry and moan, curse and wonder what happens if . . .

    But, by and large, I'm living a world 'my head' is comfortable with. Therein lies a danger -- as in the moment when 'my head' discovers it hasn't accounted for all?

    Thank you for your smart appraisals!