(a little reflection on our times, our culture)

We’re so bombarded,
We’ve been hardened,
Brains diluted, convoluted.
What of us? The focussing?
You ask, “What is this focus thing?” It is:

To isolate, to single out,
To deeply delve,
Steeping the self into a matter,
Inner chatter quietened,
The scattering restrained, frustrated.
You, the goalie concentrated.

Deluged by the information’s
Huge amount of information
Taken in each night, each day
From which we never get away.,
It is in every sense a blitz
Common sense’s road to denseness.

Even with this idiocy
One cannot leave society.
Are there solutions?
Meditations? Isolation?
Exploration of the self by watching, snatching
With an inner eye the ‘I’ inside?

To ride out the assault that baits you
Is to learn what translates into
Independence and detachment,
Kindness to your fellow man,
Knowledge of what’s really real:
A heart of gold and mind like steel.

These are just proposals sent
To free you from this time’s bombardment.
Hints and tips to steer your star –
That’s all they are.

Because you suffer,
Seldom knowing what you’re after,
From not knowing that you suffer.
Yes, not knowing just how much you suffer
From not knowing what you’re after.

Bombarded 8.1.2020 Our Times, Our Culture II; Circling Round Experience; Arlene Nover Corwin

Finding Standards

Finding Standards
(an extension of “I’m Never Sure”)

Prior to this poem
Written to the poet/reader.
I thought, in fact,
The leader of the pack
May be the art of music.
Poetry a form read rarely,
Melody here, everywhere
And squarely in the senses.

If it’s hard to judge the quality
Of poetry,
How hard it must be
To judge music?

Genres are labile and fickle;
But the faithful stick to one, life through.
‘Elvis lives’ to those of seven- eight- and ninety-two.
As for my life’s taste born when big bands were ‘the big It’
I grew to be a jazz pianist singer.
When it was oh so hip to be so hip!.
Passing by me, hiphop, rap,
Sapping energies tp spare..

I, the cool, jazz improviser.
Gave me Lambert, Hendricks, Ross,
Corea, Brubeck, Jarrett, Getz.
Trumpet, sax, vibes, drums and bass.
Virtuosity that’s boss.

Are standards fixed?
Not, no, and nix!
They’re what each generation gets
And falls in love with.

As in politics and history.
No generation knows or cares
What came before:
(Hitler, Mussolini, wars)
Except the few aware
That rage and passion,
Phase and fashion
Come and go.

Finding Standards 8.3.2020 Our Times, Our Culture II; Circling Round Experience; Vaguely About Music II;Arlene Nover Corwin;

You’re All You’ve Got

You’re All You’ve Got

You’re all you’ve got.
You’ve not ’got’ anyone
Or anything,
The ring of ‘ones’ and ‘things’
A passing, fleeting,
In that meaning,
An illusion.

The truth of this when realised,
The ‘borrow-ness’ is seized,
Reduces sorrow.

Things disappear.
Relations too,
Those closest to you die
And you, you cry
At loss.
The cost of disappearance broken-heartedness.

But when you understand deep in your heart
That you’re a part and they’re a part,
Like slices of an apple tart;
That they’re not yours and you’re not theirs,
Just pieces of the larger unit,

You’re the ‘real’ of all you are,
The other things the satellites around your star
Of which you must take care while there.
Thought provoking, isn’t it,
That ‘you’ is all you’ve really got!

You’re All You’ve Got 8.4.2020 Circling Round Reality; Circling Round Experience; Pure Nakedness II; Nature Of & InReality; Arlene Nover Corwin

Things I Cannot Do

I cannot say what was my motive in writing this, believing all the time that I was through with talk of amputation. And then I saw and heard a splendid performance on TV and as one does in moments of exuberance, even while sitting in one’s living room, I was moved to euphoric applause. The result? No sound, just blunt and muffled ache.

Things I Cannot Do* (see bottom note)

I can no longer play a chord.
Cannot applaud,
Stand on my head,
(Joints stiffening, weak and one-sided).
Unattainable: the open can or zipped up pants
The coffee cup that’s minus handles.

Cannot roll up a left sleeve,
The right hand being less effective…
Buttoned blouses flatten me
Daunting, wearying and taunting me
While I, one-handed, work to fill
A much-too-narrow buttonhole.

Every day the list goes, growing
Markedly, perceptibly, unreasonably.
Turning up when breaching laws
An ordinary man ignores:

Reaching, stretching… temperatures:
The hot, the cold,
The simple, slippery things to hold:
All those courses now on hold
Until some bright, prostheticist
Comes up with some adroit device;
New, useful for this jazz pianist.

With not a soul to sue,
The things I can and cannot do
Continue to run neck and neck,
Tied for first place, stroking,
Karma, nature, God’s good grace,
The ever racing Time
Take trophies back to each their homes.

* August 3, 2020 will be one year since I collapsed with sepsis and had 7 fingers amputated.

Things I Cannot Do 7.30.2020 Nature Of & In Reality; Circling Round Experience; Pure Nakedness II; Arlene Nover Corwin

The Goal

This was sparked off by watching a documentary last night on Leonard Cohen & Marianne both of whom I knew wall when I lived in Hydra.

The Goal

There are those who can’t
And those who can
Become what’s called ‘a family man’.
Those who must live solitary.
Those who must have friends a-plenty:
Women, chums, amusements, sex;
Many current, many -ex.

There are those who roam the earth
Without a faith,
Looking, looking, never finding,..
Never binding self to one:
Finding none.

Those who run and those who search;
World-weary urchins*
Existentially un-gladdened, burdened,
Mightily or slightly saddened.

No one thing that’s best for all,
No inner voice, choice, norm of form;
Then, waking one day to a call,
It settles all.

Rising, falling with a grin,
Settling in to nature’s cycles,
Sizing up the grand delusion,
Each day’s challenging illusion.

Inner joy reflecting off a shining face
Now well defined and more refined,
They help without a conscious motive,
Simply by a way of living.

In order to find inner peace,
“Know yourself”, said Socrates.
Where under decrease hides increase
Which then in turn feeds happiness –
The ultimate in goals that please.

The happiness infectiousness,
Is virus kissed and truly blessed.
Conclusion from this authoress:
“They’re not all baddies I would guess.”

A Reference to Noel Coward’s song “World-Weary” (1928)
The Goal 2.29.2020 Circling Round Experience; Arlene Nover Corwin

Found On Backs Of Envelopes

Found On Backs of Envelopes

Talent helps, but at the end
A chain of forces gives intent
Its form whose links
Are luck and karma,
Perseverance as its armour.

Pushing doggedly against the odds:
Time’s cycles, ups and downs,
Fenced in or pushing back or at
Rejection, vanity, the blocks
Of dailyness-es, laziness-es,
Each a hindrance stealing time.
Yet talent is the ground
Fed by the virtues which turn destinies around.

I’ve had this scrap since twenty four: two thousand four,
Which means it’s been
A household tenant fourteen years,
(I date my scribblings),
Its poetic siblings coming after
Several thousand crafted rhymes.

A lesson here somewhere:
Save bits of paper,
Be they toilet, pamphlet, poster, letter…
Keep each ballpoint you collect –
Guidelines you will not regret
But laud, applaud one day
When someone reads the stuff you’ve had to say
And says “Hurray”!
All from not tossing out the scrap
Or throwing crap away!

Found On Backs Of Envelopes 12.17.2018/revised7.27.2020 A Sense Of The Ridiculous II; The Processes: Creativity, Thinking, Meditative II; Arlene Nover Corwin

Do More Research

This is a long one! But it’s an answer. Yes?

Do More Research

“Do more research!”
That’s what I told my doctor
When he said, “I have no answer”,
I responded, “Do research!”
To which he answered,
Nether jokingly nor mocking me.
“I’ve got all these patients… masses… “

I said, “Then it’s up to you to do some more!
It helps the rich, it helps the poor.
If I am helped, it will help all,
The big, the small.”
He’d put me on the spot.
He said, “Perhaps you’s like to change your doc?”
It shocked, of course.
My only course was to reply,
-Oh me, oh my! Of course I don’t!
And then I left.

Reliant on a Google font,
On Wiki- this, or Wiki- that!
My only course, of course,
Was to search on my own.
Research my illness up and down,
A clown in search of a solution.

If I may, a not-too-nice person
Offering advice to a profession,
Indispensable to all and each,
Not besmirching and/or preaching,
I say this: Do more research!

We, but wretches without knowledge,
You, eight stretched out years at college!
With your know-how, you know how to fetch the facts.
So act! We’re waiting for a salve
To work on our finite behalf.
March straight right to the books you have,
And do research. It’s us you save!

You and we are all betrothed.
Do not leave us in the lurch.
It’s in your oath.
You with all your education.
Medicine, its limitation.
Do more research!

Do More Research 7.27.2020 Our Times, Our Culture II; Circling Round Experience; Arlene Nover Corwin

Ideas Are Always There

Ideas Are Always There

In the bubbling babble, clamber, scramble
For ascendancy and clarity,
Ideas of every kind
Are forming pictures, wishes, plans and fancies,
Goals and targets; theories.
In the chaos of the mind,
Suppressed, surpassed you find
Surprises ne’er expected.

For those who write,
Who claim a ‘writer’s block’
I say “Knock, knock!”
Ideas are there.
You cannot stop ‘em.

There to joke with, poke around, soak up
Trusting in instinct without fear,
This writer does declare
You can, whenever, fix things later.

Writing is not made of marble, though
I have a feeling Michelangelo
Could do it, ideas flowing, never ending,
Sending signals of association
And creation
To the hands which held hammer or pen.

So, friend,
When you awake, have breakfasted,
Be sure your ideation-mind is interested.
And here’s the thing:
Pure and simple interesting!

Ideas Are Always There 7.26.2020 The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative II; Circling Round Experience; Arlene Nover Corwin

Annie Ross

I’m sending this out to my jazz musician and jazz loving friends. It’s not a finished product by any means, but a spontaneous tribute to Annie Ross, who died yesterday.

Annie Ross

The loss of Annie Ross
Is loss indeed.
I was a teen in ’53.
Mom owned along with Slim Gaillard
The first jazz club in all Long Island.

There stood a Juke Box.
On the box
Were Hendricks, Lambert, Annie Ross!

There was I, a blossoming young, singing teen,
Young, listening, music major;
There were they, two hims and her,
Scatting kings and scatting queen.

Oh, how I learned!
How much I earned
From Lambert, Hendricks, Annie Ross!
They were my boss!
Not mom, not Slim,
Not Chet or Stan or Mulligan.
No, it was them!

And Annie!
Ultimately forming me
With E above high C.
Her ‘Twisted’, ‘Doodlin’, ‘Airegin’.

Lambert died (too, too,i too early)
John became a valued friend.
But Annie, who I never met
Whose influence I’d later get,
Has met her end.
And I regret not meeting her
And telling her how great
She was.
Annie Ross!
I hope it’s not too late to say it
To her listening spirit.

Annie Ross 7.23.2020 Vaguely About Music Ii; Circling round Experience; Arlene Nover Corwin


You’re welcome to share this usually ignored truth with the world. And for those spiritually oriented people who think I’ve left out ‘soul – even soul has to take a body before it can function. Otherwise, it’s just up there somewhere in the skies.


Everybody is a body:
Underneath it all, a body total.
Big or small, broad and ample,
Slight, but never trivial,
Arrival on this planet
Nothing short of miracle;

We’re meant to love it, but without
The pride of vanity,
For we know, vanities
Are valueless,
The body, paradoxically,
A transiency;
One could just say,
A moment’s instability.

We’re born to care
And not be fooled by armpit hair,
Boob and cheek.
Soon or late all parts are weakened.

Tooled to grow, unroll, unfold:
It is a body, after all.
A million, zillion cells
That only ever wish us well.
Dimply, pimply, faintly smelly.
When each jolly quirk is tallied,
Everybody but a body.

Torsos weak and torsos strong
See us through the whole lifelong;
All of you and all of me.
This solely one and only body.

Body 7.22.2020 Circling Round Nature II; Nature Of & In Reality; Circling Round Experience; Arlene Nover Corwin

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