Covering The Arguments

Covering The Arguments

 

What does it do

To the personal you

If I blaspheme or blast off?

Do you think that God minds,

Is insulted by minds that are blind?

God is bigger than that.

He laughs at the ill-behaved brat

‘Cause He loves a good joke.

He loves the whole earth

While he waits for us patiently birth after birth.

He’s such a nice bloke

You can talk to Him any which way that you feel:

Feeling is only like smoke.

 

Covering The Arguments 2.24.1995/4.23.2005

A Sense Of The Ridiculous; To The Child Mystic; God Book;

Arlene Corwin

 

 

 

Inclusive/Exclusive 5.3.1995

Inclusive Exclusive

 

I heard them talking.

Back and forth they talked about

The universal gout;

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

Focusing on genocide – pride in killing off a race –

They harkened back to World War Two –

To Pole, gay, Gypsy, Marxist, Jew –

When one mustachioed-crazed face

Decided to kill off 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, East.

“Can we kill the killing beast

And turn the killing to a feast

And universal peace?” They were erudite alright.

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.

It seemed 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 increasing, chokes pollutions:

Leave the club that says “exclusive”.

Join the club that has “inclusive” on the door.

It isn’t easy not to hate, not easy to include the Yids,

The blacks, the gays; 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 5.23.1995

Definitely Didactic; Our Times, Our Culture; God Book;

Arlene Corwin

A Cat Is A Most Polite Animal 1995

A Cat Is A Most Polite Animal

 

There he lies at the foot of my bed.

Here I sit as I write at its head:

Papers strewn, bits here, scraps there.

He never crinkles, wrinkles, tears,

Only getting, every now and then

An urge to lunge… at

Flies in summer, whizzing gnats.

He never crushes objects near, it being clear

Cats are polite and delicate –

Tasteful and the perfect gymnast:

Olga Corbut of the bed.

I ought to tap my deeper thoughts –

The ones with bolts – the ones with nuts.

It’s reddening that one can only

Talk of cats.

He’s just a cat!

But I am filled with admiration.

Not just wonder: admiration!

I admire you, oh cat – respect you!

And this feeling makes me fuller, nicer –

All in all, enhancing slices [of a life],

By thimblefuls.

What do you think of that, oh cat?

You don’t care.

That’s what’s so nice.

My life’s enhanced.  You dream of mice.

 

A Cat Is A Most Polite Animal .9.14 .1995

Circling Round Nature; Cat Book;

Arlene Corwin

Faith Is A Chemical Dynamic 1995/2013

Faith Is A Chemical Dynamic

Faith is a chemical dynamic

Affecting cells, making them fresh:

(The celestial and flesh)

Not a dogma, cant –

More pledge, a pact;

The brain engrained in wish and want

With roots spread out in waiting

For a door to open wide,

And you a bride inside.

Faith sanctifies.

It unifies.

It systematizes without system,

Sees the thread in things uncommon,

Making fractions into one:

It always gives an added power,

Energy beyond the hour;

Puts a slant on everything,

(Which is its strength and shortcoming.)

You never go beyond its vision,

Never get beyond its zone.

No clever man or master plan

Or great endeavor pulls the lever.

In itself a friendly law,

It is specific to your wishes.

Faith is bound by its tradition.

Nothing great can be erected,

Nothing lasting be affected.

Leave the hills, reach for the stars:

Faith is chemically dynamic.

Faith Is A Chemical Dynamic 7.17.1995/2013

Nature Of & In Reality; To The Child Mystic; Circling Round Science;

Arlene Corwin

.

Blues In The Winter 1995/2013

Blues In The Winter

This is the time to reflect on your karma,

It’s laws: this to that and choices that suit.

Time to reflect over dharma,

Your flaws; how the causes bear fruit;

This is the time for the un’s and the non’s:

Unflustered, unuffled, non-violent dispute.

Look at continuum’s window of nature:

Trees letting go of their leaves without fuss,

Grieve-less their rustle;

Adjusting to autumn and shortening days

Taking the lengthening rays and not

One mumbled moan about dying awhile.

We, kicking, screaming and dreaming up loss,

Cross out repose,

Our missile 

                        of brightness.

This is the time…

Blues In The Winter 10.4.1995/revised 1.24.2013

Circling Round Nature; I Is Always You Is We; Definitely Didactic;

Arlene Corwin

The Witnesses 1995

The Witnesses

 

There are two ladies coming to the house.

They walk through rain and wood to get here.

They’re most kind

And if I mind, they’ll stop –

I haven’t tested them.  It’s possible I will.

They do not t tramp on toes;

They’re most instructive and compelling.

That I’m Jewish and Vedantic makes me one of those

On whom they just adore whetting their drill, er, skill.

It’s early days.

They’ve got their ways of pushing, I suppose.

Still, I enjoy their efforts and their readings.

Who is fortunate enough to have two teachers filled

With reverence and references,

Deference and temperance,

Preferences and non-offensive

Girlish blind exuberance –

And full and total certainty

They’ve got the key

To me and my deliverance,

Deliverance and me.

 

The Witnesses 12.12.1995

Our Times, Our Culture;

Arlene Corwin

 

 

Open-Ended Autobiography

 

Arlene Corwin’s Poetry

Just another WordPress.com weblog

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Arlene Corwin’s Open-Ended Biography

(10.3.2007 updated 10.24.2007 updated 1.3.2008; updated December 15, 2009, October 2010 )

Arlene Corwin (born Arlene Faith Nover) is an American jazz singer and pianist, poet, teacher and practitioner of Yoga. Born November 8, 1934 in the Williamsburg Maternity Hospital, Brooklyn, New York. She has two children. Jonathan Eric Corwin (born July 24. 1956 and) Jennifer Nover Council (born February 2, 1964). Mother Margy Lillian (born Brown). Father Albert S. Nover. Both were hairdressers, owning a beauty salon together. Everyone was musical on both sides of the family.Mother sang, could play some piano. Father was a gifted sculptor and wood carver, played a little harmonica and mandolin. The family is Jewish.

Early Life
Started studying piano age 8. Studied voice at the famous 1650 Broadway with ‘coach’ Matty Levine. Did a little recording at aged 10 in Nola Studios. (The record has since disappeared) At 12 she started studying harp with Meyer Rosen (Julliard and NBC Orchestra) and the occasional piano lesson with an NBC pianist who taught her how to read chord changes, seeing at once that she was not interested in learning classical piano.

As a child she had already sung at weddings, bar mitzvahs and for the USO, raising bonds for the war effort. At 13, having a boyfriend who played the saxophone and who listened to Symphony Sid, jazz disc jockey whose late night show originated from Birdland, she awakened to jazz, listening to the late night show “under my blanket”. “A turning point”, she says. (Well before “Lullaby of Birdland” was put to words Arlene had written a lyric of her own – a lyric she still sings today) At 14,she was playing for a dancing school once a week. Then she got an accidental job (“slipping in on a banana peel when the singer got sick”) in a Brooklyn nightclub singing with a group. “Mom and dad chaperoned, of course”.1950s 

She began to sing regularly when again, out of the blue, an agent rang offering a job for a hundred dollars a week to play at the Mayflower Hotel in Manhattan. It was a restaurant owned by Bob Olin, a former light heavyweight world champion. “I was so naïve I played the whole evening without ever taking a break. Who knew about breaks? Why they kept me I’ve no idea.” But they did and the steady salary of $100.00 a week (which she gave directly to her mother, any other choice never occurring to her) and the experience of having to make a varied program led to her singing to the piano, and eventually to playing to the singing. At this time she was still in high school as attending the prestigious High School of Music & Art as a harpist.She graduated from Music & Art getting a scholarship to Hofstra College as a music major.

Then in 1952, while still at Hofstra College (now university), she was playing on the weekends in a Hempstead, Long Island nightclub-restaurant when Slim Gaillard, who’d come to see Jack Teagarden (also working there) began to take notice of her. He started showing up regularly. There he met Arlene’s mother Margy, and the two eventually opened a jazz nightclub, the first to cater to blacks and whites. It was called The Turf and it, like Birdland had its own radio show, for which Arlene wrote the theme song “The Slim Gaillard Show”. Now she was standing as well as sitting, getting a chance to sit in and sing as often as she chose. The die was cast. It was jazz, cool jazz.

Early Influences
In 1954, on the day she ought to have been attending her college graduation, she married Bob Corwin, a 21-year-old jazz pianist with the Don Elliot Quartet. Because Bob toured, Arlene began her new stage of education: listening to Don’s group while they played on the same bill as the jazz greats of the 50’s. There was Helen Merrill at George Wein’s Storyville in Boston, Terry Gibbs and Illinois Jacquet in Detroit, Bill Evans, Cy Coleman, Bernard Peiffer, Tal Farlowe,Johnny Smith John Mehagan and Billy Taylor (who had also performed at the Turf) at the sophisticated Composer owned by jazz lover and connoiseur Willie Short in Manhattan. ” It was also a chance to see and listen to other singers of the day. New York was marvelous in those days. I saw Peggy Lee at Basin Street, became friends with Blossom Dearie at Trudy’s in the village, Oscar Peterson, Marian McPartland at the Hickory House, Sheila Jordan, Morgana King. It was THE university for me. I was introduced to and mentored by Tony Fruscella, the tragic, unsung genius of the trumpet, ‘who I took on my gigs, but to whom I was actually the apprentice’ – and through Tony to Morgana King and Beverly Getz, the talented [and equally tragic] wife of Stan Getz. I feel blessed to have experienced jazz at that time. The guys would gossip about who played ‘behind’ or ‘ahead’ of the beat, bass lines, good changes, bad changes. No Music & Art or Hofstra did that. I learned almost the whole of what is now called The American Songbook. And I, I was sounding like Sarah Vaughn with a little voice.”

 

Hanging Around Manhattan; Not This, Not That…
Living in New York, and looking for a niche she spent time, as other musicians did, at the Musicians Union Local 802 or Charlie’s Tavern where jobs could show up. In this way, there were weeks and weekends away with big bands: Tommy Dorsey’s Orchestra under the leadership of Warren Covington, Claude Thornhill and Larry Sonn.

“When you hang around New York all kinds of opportunities show up”. And so, she got a leading role in a B film called “Jukebox Racket’, wrote the score for another B film called, at the time “She Should Have Stayed In Bed”, later to be called ‘1,000 Shapes Of A Female: see IDMB (the company, called Exploit Films was owned by Errol Flynn “tall, big in every way, veins on his face, but exuding old world charm” He was quite, quite overwhelming.”

Then there was a bit part in John Cassavetes “Shadows”, followed by the lead in what has become a cult ‘beat’ musical called “The Nervous Set” by Fran and Jay Landesman where she introduced the now-standards “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most and “Ballad Of The Sad Young Men”, both subsequently recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Bassey and numberless major artists. She studied acting with Joshua Shelley. “It was a time to find out who and what I was. “I was definitely not an actress. I was too introverted and none of those clothes fit” she says.

More Influences and more Not This, Not That…
In 1959 she met Johnny Burke (Burke & Van Heusen) who took her under his wing, taking her to Hollywood to demonstrate his show “Donnybrook” for Rosalind Russell and husband, producer Frederick Brisson “It was a glitzy time. I stayed at Bob Hope’s house in Palm Springs, met Frank Sinatra and his then fiancee Juliet Prowse, Jerry Lewis, Marlene Deitrich, had my own suite in Las Vegas , traveled first class, but was so introverted I always kept to myself, never saying much, definitely not participating in any of these scenes. Those clothes didn’t fit either.”

All the while she returned to the intimacy of New York supper clubs. They were the bottom line, singing and playing.

It was during the supper club period, she met Al Weissman who became her manager. She was signed to the Joe Glazer Agency and began to tour with her own trio. “Wherever I went they’d say, “You know, there’s just been a girl here who sounds like you. Her name was Barbra something. I suppose we had Brooklyn Jewishness in common. ” (She too was signed with Glazer.)

Although published by Frank Publishing (owned by composer Frank Loesser) years later she asked for the songs back because “nothing happened.” “It was a period of promise, a period I was not equipped to fulfill”.

1960s-1970s
In 1962 it was back to Hollywood with Al Weissman and high hopes. “I had some jobs, but never in my genre.” Back to New York. A little jaunt of songwriting with singer Dick Haymes. A short marriage of four months to Richard Robin Palmer.

Greece, Lebanon, Greece, Oxford – Yoga & Jazz

In 1966, by way of Paris, Greece (where she and husband Jim Council were neighbors with Leonard Cohen and Marianne) and Lebanon, “where I actually managed to do some television, singing jazz”, she settled in Oxford, England for the next 18 years, teaching yoga,(“lectured and demonstrated in what must have been a hundred Women’s Insitutes, posed for one of the very first health magazines called Health & Fitness, wrote articles on nutrition, had a weekly radio spot on a little radio show for BBB Oxford actually doing Yoga on radio while describing each pose with a microphone up my nose, did a tape on meditation – it was a lot of Yoga”) and singing and playing, being voted Best Jazz Singer in the Midlands 1972, appearing at Ronnie Scott’s three times. She did 3 television shows; a late night BBC jazz show called “In The Cool Of The Evening”, radio for BBC overseas, was invited over to Amsterdam to do Dutch radio, sang at universities around England, (“one night opposite Pink Floyd, “who were just starting out, I suppose”), the American air bases.

She appeared several times at The Stables in Wavendon (run by John Dankworth – now Sir John Dankworth – and Cleo Laine -now Dame Cleo Laine – while at the same time giving weekly yoga lessons to a group there, (which included Dame Cleo – “a wonderful yogin”). The Wavendon All-Music Plan, later known simply as WAP “was the most stimulating and original enterprise I’ve ever encountered, pairing all kinds of musical genre. I even played on the same bill as Vladimir Ashkenazy.”

Starting in 1969 and all during the 70’s fate gave a push to the yoga side of things and Arlene was teaching yoga classes in doctor’s offices for hyper-tense, cardiac and overweight men. teaching regularly at conferences for IBM. She gave demonstrations, lectured all over for the Women’s Institute, posed and wrote for Health and Fitness Magazine (summer issue 1982) a book called The New Manual Of Yoga by Karen Ross (1973) wrote articles on nutrition, made a cassette called This Is Meditation. It was a full double life with Yoga taking half the time and singing the other half.

1980s to now.
In 1983 she once again ran into Slim Gaillard – this time in London. He asked her to appear on a television show he was producing that was to star himself, Kai Winding and Wayne Shorter. It was the last appearance she ever made in England.In 1984, finding Sweden fertile ground for singer/pianists, and meeting and falling in love with Kent Anderson, she moved to Sweden where she lives until today, performing, and writing regularly for “Live With Good Intentions” an online magazine.
Still growing, still changing
The latest news – 2009 and 25 years later, aged 75: a cd of her own songs for Imogen Records produced by George Reece, a concert of Johnny Mercer to commemorate his 100th birthday, poetry grown to 2000 poems (see Arlene Corwin Poetry).

2009 finds her favorite project on Google called Arlene Corwin’s Poetry, a project that started in 1949 or about 2,000 poems ago.

2010 landmark:  First published book of poetry, “Circling Round Time” comes out in September “To The Child Mystic” the second due to come out in December.

2010-11  Circling Round Time and To The Child Mystic.  The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative . Regular contributor  to online magazines ElderwomanSpace; Jerry Jazz Musician; Elderwomanstorytellingplace; 

2012 More books!  Circling Round Woman; Circling Round Our Times, Our Culture; Circling Round Vanity: Vaguely About Music and Circling Round Eros + 2.  Publised by Xlibris.

2013-2014 More & more! Circling Round Yoga, Science, War & Cats; Circling Round Nature; God Book; in the works A Sense Of The Ridiculous.

Music career took an upswing with performances and concerts – an intimate series of composer-of-the-month programs based on the best of American popular composers.

And, of all things, at age 77, the start of yoga teaching in Härryda, Sweden.  

Arlene Corwin is, as at this writing, 80 years of age. Over 3,000 poems.

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