Jazz Without Whiskey 1995

             Jazz Without Whiskey

Jazz without whiskey, jazz without smoke

Would sound to the masses like some kind of joke.

Jazz without whiskey might bring in more folk

But somehow or other, it’s got itself yoked

To bourbon and rye, and the need to get high.

Players of jazz are usually broke,

(There’s just no respect, and neglect is the problem.)

Playing in pokey, cheap holes-in-the-wall

Where the upright’s un-tuned (if there is one at all),

Prices are high, people are drunk,

And most of the listeners think jazz is bunk;

Strange situation this! Something’s gone wrong.

The wonder is that it continues to change – in the song

And the structure – and never goes under.

But whiskey’s okay if the drinker stays calm –

Receptive and quiet while player plays on.

And if there’s applause at the end it’s a balm.

But smoke! There’s an enemy hell bent on slaying

The public, the player. In short, life aborted

By one cigarette times a hundred,

Times three hundred sixty-five unnumbered darts.

The issue is, where does the yearning

Young jazzer finds outlet, sand for the grit

In his oyster that strives for its pearl,

Bosses who care, who have taste and right wit.

(Not the churlish and burly who’ll screw any girl,

Whose aim is the buck sans the need to take part

In the needs of the player to foster his art.)?

Players rise up and open your bidding!

Break off the shackles! Well, whom am I kidding?

I’m timid, and not an example

To take you the distance to getting your due;

But I have ideals; experience too.

Maybe they’d blend to produce the right end

If there were one loner to start a new trend.

It takes balls.

© Jazz Without Whiskey 5.10.1995 Vaguely About Music; Defiant Doggerel;   Arlene Corwin



Inventory 1995


Nothing is as it appears:

The lifting skin,

The lips that thin;

The whistle lines,

The mustache new, dark, fine;

The yellowed teeth,

The stomach fat –

(Unexpected that!)

The armpits bare where there was hair,

The fifi too.

What can you do!

Toenails ridged,

Foot-skin thicker,

Knuckles knotty –

More like wicker;

Long sight shorter, short sight longer:

So confusing- can’t be wrong-er.

When nature has its way with one,

There’s nothing you can say

To make the changes sound like fun.

What Nature wants to play it plays.

There’s nothing to be done.

Yet, nothing is as it appears:

Decaying cells, clear-counted years –

Speeding by as if collusion

Sets coordination’s force. It’s all illusion!

Don’t’ ask why and don’t ask how,

But if you look inside the ‘now’

Inside the mind – it’s you yourself.

It feels exactly as it did when


Or twelve or thirty- two.

There’s nothing going forward there,

As if this time stuff were hot air.

The moment’s now is ageless – fair.

was you and you were two 

©Inventory 95.3.14

Nature Of & In Reality; Circling Round Vanities; Circling Round Woman;

Circling Round Wrinkles; I Is Always You Is We; Revelations Big & Small;

Arlene Corwin












Inclusive Exclusive 1995

               Inclusive Exclusive

I heard them talking.

Back and forth they talked about gout universal;

Secular society’s exclusion of the concept ‘evil’.

Focusing on genocide – race killing pride –

They harkened back to World War Two –

To Pole, gay, Gypsy, Marxist, Jew –

When one mustachioed-crazed face

Decided to kill of a race that never even was a race.

“How does it come about, they asked.

-And how can we prevent it?

There was rabbi, priest from West and East.

“How can we kill the killing beast,

Turn killing to a feast and peace?”

They were erudite all right. Not right, bur erudite.

One said that we must teach the whelps. Education is what helps.

One said that we can’t burn the seed, so punish those that do the deed,

Chase the villains, make them bleed –

Justice must be served and seen. The cause was man alone.

But where was God, I heard me groan.

The priest and rabbi, smart but green,

-Oh, God was there, but cause was man.

The cause was man?

How can the cause be man when God is absoluter than…

First cause and seed, the first split second all decreed.

All that follows fulfills need.

So plainful clear to me, it followed as the night the day

That even murdered masses stay

Within the scope of God’s good meaning.

If God is and still they die,

There’s meaning somewhere in the sky

And meaning must be dying’s seeming,

Any other meaning dreaming.

Back to rabbi and to priest:

Back and forth they sought solutions.

I could see a key, a yeast

Which, when expanding, chokes pollutions:

Leave the club that says “exclusive”.

Join the club that says “inclusive.

It’s not easy not to hate, include the yids,

The blacks, the gays; to teach yourself and teach the kids.

But it’s the gate. We are the geno- of the –cide.

Try taking God on this queer ride.

A good way to begin; to make a circle drawing in

Someone whose eye you catch,

Who chances near, who seeks your ear,

Who forms the batch of living skin

That happens to fall in your patch.

Include the wretch you are, as well.

Tell, yell and ring this bell.

To make a heaven out of hell, include!


©Inclusive/Exclusive 95.5.23 Definitely Didactic; Our Times, Our Culture;  Arlene Corwin

I’m Willing To Share 1995

          I’m Willing To Share

I’m willing to share my ego – its faults,

Revealing – to anyone – all that I find,

Thinking that someone who willingly vaults

Over worldly assaults, attractive youth’s glue,

Clinging and binding itself to truth’s glue,

Perceiving her faults as they are,

And watching as scar

Becomes scabbing and peeling then healing,

As she becomes swan,

And sharing the methods stumbled upon –

(Process transmittable to those in pain/

Have erred on my plane -)

Those are the things that I’m willing to share

Because I surmised long ago, it helps friend, it helps foe,

And those to whom I owe nothing in particular.

©I’m Willing To Share 5.30.1995 I Is Always You Is We; Pure Nakedness; Arlene Corwin



If You Read Without Reflecting 1995

           If You Read Without Reflecting
If you read without reflecting,
All you have is empty eyes.
 If you read without reflecting,
 There’s small chance of getting wise:
There’s no message to send on.
Without message, wisdom
Has no chance to siphon down
From intellect to arms and legs,
Into the dregs of living.
What you read you need to chew.
If you knew
How happy you could be –
And great
(You’re thinking I exaggerate)
How the page
Conceals the sage,
You’d stop eye from flitting
Like a skittish kitten. It’s a
Form of concentration
That can turn to contemplation,
But it needs assimilation,
News and information;
Even gossip can reveal.








©If You Read Without Reflecting 3.9.1995
The Processes: Creative,Thinking, Meditative; Arlene Corwin

I’d Never Diddle You 1995

         I’d Never Diddle You

When working in tandem with dharma,

A thing

W ill show up by chance, paralleling, bolstering.

(see I Ching);

A natural augur; take note how benign.

For noticing is in itself a good sign.

© I’d Never Diddle You 12.18.1995 To The Child Mystic; Nature In & Of Reality; Arlene Corwin


I Think On Death 1969/1995

         I Think On Death

I think on death,

And as I think, my breath

Goes in and out and in

Without a pause. By twos

The time we have to win

Dwindles away as we choose

Paths, aware, like now,

That we will die, the how,

Where to, and when a secret

Between fate and God.

Sweet bodies, sweeter faces, get

Out of my eyes! The heat

Of all your breaths will stop,

New crops of finite races’

beauteous creations rise.

Clinging: bodies, faces – all the ties –

Is in itself, the ill.

With drones of doubt,

Living out the doubt

Is reaching out – uphill.

©I Think On Death 69.5./95.9.11/06.10.7

Birth, Death & In Between; To The Child Mystic; Arlene Corwin





Hyllning Till Män 1995

                Hyllning Till Män

Var beredd om allt går snett.

Jag hoppas att ni alla förstår

Om jag säger någonting så här

På dålig svens-ska jag berätt’om

Stilig Sven och Sten och män.

Så många sten vid Härsjöns stränder,

Bygger hus med starka händer.

Sten Olaf och Sten Åke, och Stig Ove, all andra

Som ägnar sig till vad?

Naturen, sommar hus och bad;

Också fruar, bilar, barn;

Att fiska abborre it garn.

’Darn’ och fan, min svenska är begränsad!

Aldrig detta språk bli rensad

Av mitt språk. Ursäkta snälla.

Låt oss skåla männen all.

Låt oss en skål för männen hälla, hylla.

Män, utan vilket ve aldrig skulle oss klara.

Ve – Margareta, Elizabeth, Carina, Sara.

Ja, bygga och angöra brygga;

Allt är rätt som männen gör.

Kvinnor, all vackra, snygga –

Männen ger ve vår honnör.



Arlene Corwin

Howling At The Moon 1995

          Howling At The Moon

It’s easy to talk and not know what we say.

Blowing hot air –

Partially present, the muse of sincerity absent,

Squawking like yesterday’s radio waves.

Then there days when we know all the answers,

Days when one knows,

And one knows that one knows.

Answers that flow as they glow in their prose;

Then sod it, next day:

We are still biting nails, killing off whales,

Drinking or sniffing our coke

While continuing days as a joke.

What next? Well, there’s will,

There’s still stillness –

Who says that we’ve got to act out every impulse?

Who says when to dance, when to sit out the waltz?

Head full of rocks

We stand on our boxes

And howl at the moon.

©Howling at the Moon 95.2.8 I Is Always You Is We; A Sense Of The Ridiculous; Arlene Corwin




Holding The Purse Strings Beyond Sound 1995

          Holding The Purse Strings Beyond Sound

The royal coinage of the realm

Lies beyond the pocket’s jingle,

Way beyond vibration’s tingle:

Source of wealth that never mingles:

Real keeper of the fund/

Central coffer, gilt edge bond:

Far beyond the sound of sound.

Beyond sound is the king:

Beyond the people and the thing.

There in silence hangs the glow

Beyond the facts that people know.

And we are all the king’s men –

Sentient always in the skin.

And we are all the king’s men –

Silent also in the mental,

Like the king.

Beyond breath hovers,

Oval round, the cover symbol –

Lover of the universe;

Keeper of the only purse –


©Holding The Purse Strings Beyond Sound 95.3.2 To The Child Mystic; God Book; Arlene Corwin

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