A la Jane Austin 2002/04/05/06

               A la Jane Austin

I understand the modern man

I understand a la Jane Austin.

I know his concentration

Needs more snippets than long episodes,

His mental station gone awry.

I know the reason why, and I

Take heed, belonging to this restless breed.

I have a sense of when to stop.

Not stooping to the popular,

Since instincts tell me ‘when’,

And by the time the pen

Has filled A4,

I’d better not have one word more;

The mind-throat must be stilled.

The one-page reader won’t turn over.

Paradoxically, he’s buying longer books then ever.

The novella’s gone to hell, as well as

Rhyme and metered time.

Did I say I understood it,

This phenomenon modern?

I’m part of it. I know that much.

I am in touch with modern mind –

The search to find a higher truth,

Ponce de Leon’s search for youth,

The need for speed as well as silence.

I am there to understand the head and tail,

The ego frail, its longing for a holy grail.

I understand the hand that writes

To finish when A4 runs out.

A discipline from doubt or drought

That comes from having modern man’s eternal heart.

©A la Jane Austin 8.6.2002/3.16.2004/11.4.2005/2006

Our Times, Our Culture; The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative;

Arlene Corwin








Arlene Corwin’s Open-Ended Biography

Arlene Corwin’s Open-Ended Biography 

(10.3.2007 updated 10.24.2007 updated 1.3.2008 updated April 2012 updated August 2017)


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.
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 wareffort. 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 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, 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 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.
1959-60 a member of the original John La Salle Quartet/opened the Dick Kollmar/Left Bank New York nightclub. (In and of themselves they were important and those in the know or, who are interested will look them up).

“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”.

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

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).

August 2017 poetry numbers update: 4400 poems!!! ((t can’t be!)

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 Published: Circling Round Time (Xlibris) available Amazon.com/Barnes&Noble

2010 Published: To The Child Mystic (Authorhouse) available Amazon/Barnes&Noble

2011 Published: The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative (Xlibris)available Amazon/Barnes&Noble

2011 Published: Circling Round Woman (Xlibris)available Amazon/Barnes&Noble

2011 Published Circling Round Vanities (Xlibris)available Amazon/Barnes&Noble

2012 Published: Circling Round Our Times, Our Culture (Xlibris)available Amazon/Barnes&Noble

2012 Published: Vaguely About Music (Xlibris) available Amazon/Barnes&Noble

2013 Published: Love Relationships (Xlibris) available Amazon/Barnes&Noble

2013 Published Circling Round Eros + 2 (Xlibris) available Amazon/Barnes&Noble

2014 Published Circling Round Yoga, Science, War & Cats (Xlibris) available Amazon/Barnes&Noble

2017 Published Circling Round Everything 2015-2016 (Xlibris) available Amazon/Barnes&Noble

As of 2017: 4400 poems!  (Can it be?)

And Tracks Of Deer Are On The Grass 1994 2004

     And Tracks Of Deer Are In The Grass
Last night a ferry sank.

I couldn’t sleep, and drank in

All the waters of the deep,

With, now nine hundred two and seven,

Called in minutes back to heaven,

Shamed and hesitant to write the question,

How long did it take to die?

Tortured by a string of pictures.

In the end, what’s left is I.

Always, only, left, the same old

I-in-the-shape-of me-oh-my,

For even while the world goes under,

I-in-me is what is left.

Through someone’s blunder,

Stunned, bereft, yet left to be,

I owe it to the passengers

To not think sentimentally;

Feelings squelched, brain observed,

Grateful, yes, and still unnerved

I see no other answer

Than to carry on the I and Thou

Till all gets answered

Through some tao,

Some mystic sweet know-how.

Half-guilty as the hours pass,

The light of day comes through the glass

And tracks of deer are in the grass.



©And Tracks of Deer Are In The Grass 94.9.29/2004

Birth, Death & In Between; Our Times, Our Culture;

Arlene Corwin



*Estonia sank September 28,1994 At the time I had no idea the impactit would make. The death toll being ‘only’ six hundred something.

2004. 10th anniversary of its sinking.





Integrity: The Doped Olympics 2004 2007


07.10.5. I was thinking about integrity and what constitutes it. If a law is responsible, or if the burden of integrity is always on my/our shoulders.

What would I do if a cup of strong coffee helped me perform to my utmost, but was illegal. Would I sneak in that cup? Could I resist the temptation? I really can’t say. And that uncertainty makes me say it must be my weakness, my undeveloped morality and love for my fellow man.

In light of the news that a certain Olympic champion will probably be stripped of five medals, having admitted now to using steroids makes me question my own social responsibilities even more. What to do? What to do?

Perhaps this is an answer:

The Doped OlympicsWhy don’t they simply

Create a new branch

And call it the Doped Olympics?

By the laws of semantics

It soon would come into the language,

Legitimized. Youth forgets past.

Soon the word would lose shame

While the name of the game

Would be guilt-free and blame-free

And those who would qualify

Could have drug freedom,

Build muscle defined and have bodies divine.

If they dropped dead at forty

At least they’d have entertained millions,

Fulfilled their ambitions,

Made lots of folk rich and set records untold.

Let those athletes select spend year-hours in training;

Let chemists develop concoctions so new

That the pole-vaulter flies,

And the sprinter’s a jaguar,

The shot put is sent into orbits of space,

The long jumper jumps twenty meters

While men become fierce

And the women grow beards,

Which gives all of the chemists new projects to work on.

A yes to the dopey Doped Games!

©The Doped Olympics



Our Times, Our Culture; A Sense Of The Ridiculous; Defiant Doggerel;

Arlene Corwin
























Elk Apples 2004 2007

               Elk Apples
All year long the secret seed –
Built up upon its secret feed,
It’s apple-y need, sleeps,
Doing all its apple-y things
To end up drink or salad, pie –
Something surely heavenly.
Summer long my husband and I
Wait. We watch,
Share swelling potluck,
Offering bits of bites or three,
To birds that catch
The worms that hatch in soil
For fructifying tree,
The whole gang sharing nicely.
Then one night,
With the birds, worms, husband tucked up tight,
Elks take the apples!
One more gosh darned time it’s happeled!
Fruitlessly we stomp around, rebuking chance,
Our idiocy not to fence.
How they have relished in the dance –
The cider scent that charms and pulls,
Pervading firmament and mouthfuls,
Broken branches, stringy leaves:
Evidence of feast and thieves.
Once again we bide our time
Waiting on an output.
Will there be a yield or crime?
Winter, spring and summer waits.
Kitchen stove and oven waits.
Cinnamon and whipped cream wait,
Contemplating basketsful of fruit
 ©Elk Apples 02.9.17 / 04.9.17/07.1.11
Circling Round Nature; Small Stories Book;
Arlene Corwin




Birthday Song: Palpably Impalpable 2004


     Birthday Song: Palpably Impalpable


Numbers as related to…


One of my friends: fifty-two;

One of my friends: forty.

One of my friends: sixty-six,

United by the function of a February week.

Numbers on the sneaky climb,

Incapable of leaving time

Or tumbling backwards.

Digits designating phase

And numbered days,

No inkling something’s wrong.

A celebration birthday throng

Of friends whose fate it is

To add themselves right

Out of sight and Time,

Which puzzles me.

Is it a wonder we

Like presents

When we’re creeping

Towards a Past?


Birthday Song: Palpably Impalpable 04.2.3Birth, Death & In Between; Time; Special People Special Occasions; Birthday Book;

Arlene Corwin






Shining Together (b) 1996 2004


     Shining Together

They read to each other:

The weather cues; music reviews;

They talk about distorted news,

Corruption, power;

Hour by hour ‘together’:

Birds will flock if they’re one feather.


That said, when there is bias,

Sounding pious,

Stores of stories,

Youth-days’ glories,

Traffic fury, potpourri

Of family fetes

Where the same member dominates,

Starts fights or cries –

Then rubbing feet watching TV,

Each at one end of the settee


The day that’s been a long one.


Shining Together 96.10.11 re-written 04.12.11Love Relationships;

Arlene Corwin



Love Hologram 1996 2004

     Love Hologram

Superimposed, drive on drive,

The outer drive erotic,

Inner drive the search for love:

Blue-flamed, lasting love-in-common;

Adultery they call it with its nasty smell,

Making holes in family life –

Society’s as well.

And yet,

There are the few

Who need the one bedfellow-



Perhaps not. You may be content with someone

Chosen by your parents – proper background, job –

Content to love hob-nobbing ‘right’.

The others, searching blindly,

Often fail, but often find

The thing they seek,

Reaching the goal through no-control

(Or so it seems).


Illusion all.


Love Hologram 96.10.22/04.12.11I Is Always You Is We; Love Relationships;

Arlene Corwin









In The World, Dear God 1996 2003 2004

     In The World, Dear God

Let me partake in,

Without being touched,

Bad TV and scrap mail

As much as I wish;

Newspapers, gossip

Without being bothered

Or tethered, or crutched –

A kitsch kind of worship,

A fun-God, female;

Flourishing, nourished

Enmeshed in the world,

Dear God.

©In The World, Dear God (found on the back of an old envelope dated 96.3.13)

re-worked 03.1.6/

A Sense Of The Ridiculous; To The Child Mystic;

Arlene Corwin



To Make The Most Of 2004

To Make The Most Of…

To make the most of one cup coffee,

Write it out!

The energy, the fired brain:

As long as kidneys, other parts

Are being drained

Of vital juice to feed the pyre,

And your cup of choice has use,

(Enjoyment, muse)

Make up the most of what you lose

By putting pen to paper.

©To Make The Most Of 04.1.12

The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative; Coffee Book;

Arlene Corwin

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