Poetry/Honorable mention

Old Town Jazz Fest


Save the Bach Fest for winter,
when the icy harpsichord swirls 
its counterpoint round your ears, 
each note precise as a snowflake.


But now, in Lansing’s sultry August air,
corner of Turner and Cesar Chavez,
improvisation’s the rule
and fluidity the strong suggestion.


I once saw a trumpeter pause 
mid-phrase, brush off a bee,
then pick up again with 
a zig-zagging line.


I’ve stood 30 feet from Stanley Jordan
as he played the keys with his right hand, 
electric guitar with his left,
then swapped his hands halfway through the set.


Tonight, a street artist is drenching
the brushes, daubing the paint,
and letting the shades
all lazily melt together.


Just watch as we all slip into the canvas
while one piquant chord slides into the next
and one gorgeous star in a layered skirt
achingly saunters down our horizon.


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