What’s Left 1993

      What’s Left
You work for years, build up technique,

Become a member of the clique;

Bel canto sound,

You want to sound good,

Learn to sound good.

Then as time goes by

The sound sounds boring, dry

And folks you’d hoped would like you die.

The styles change, the public too.

They seem like children now to you.

And what is left? A vacant cleft;

A sound that isn’t really true.

You do the honest thing.

You start to strip and uglify the voice.

You sell the Rolls, you sell the Royce.

The song itself becomes the choice –

The intellect, the heart a part.

You take the easy way, you say.

You’re much more simple when you play.

It starts to sound much more as you

Had always hoped to: like you do!

At least you’re singing with less stress.

The stress, instead, is in the art

And vanity’s a small, small part.

The pre-performance nerve’s caress:

It isn’t there. You’ve ceased to care.

What’s left is that you dare to dare.Where do you head? You’ve no idea.

Continuing to sing sans fear,

You simply sing, correcting all

The while.

You feel it’s false to smile.

That’s not to say there’s no smile there.

You’re lighter than you ever were.

You’re happy simply knowing where

You stand. The breach that once deterred

The song is healed. The once estranged

Is reaching for a newer range.

The only thing that’s left is change.


©What’s Left 93.5.5

The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative; Vaguely About Music;

Arlene Corwin


Waiting On Stinson Beach 1993

     Waiting On Stinson Beach

No ideas:

An empty vehicle used up,



To endless, varying resources:


I wait,

An arbitrary choice-

Less means;

Whose Arlene voiceless state

Is slate for God’s good rhyme

To write upon

In God’s good time.

©Waiting On Stinson Beach 93.4.15

The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative;

Arlene Corwin

There Is A Talent 1993

                 There Is A Talent, They Said”
There is a talent”, they said.

But nobody chose to continue the thread:

Nobody knew what to do with such mead.

All that the talented nature could do

Was to lead itself slowly from form unto form;

Throw itself wholly from norm into norm,

Un-tormented by form, taking form by storm –

Subtle, gathering tact in the rhythm

That picks up a speed growing out of itself.

It pleads with the readable world for a shelf.

Talented person sits up in the bed,

Expressing the talent that sits in the head:

The dormant, fomented, the fearless and brave,

With rhythms insistent the gifted ones have,

He savors, he flavors. Carefully both.

There is the talent.

Which of us knows

The flowering from which

All talent grows?

Vines intertwined of meaning and form,

Life on the line,

Refining, defining

The scope of that chain of invention.


© There Is A Talent 11.23.2009

The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative;

Arlene Corwin







The Sadly Futile Pretence 1993

                  The Sadly Futile Pretence

“This is the last song that you’ll ever hear me play,” he roared.

He sat down at his organ, striking one great chord.

“…the last song that I’ll ever play in this damned pub!”

And he walked up to the organ while the boss looked bored.

He played a song he’d often played, but with a great emotion.

He played his heart out, as they say. He played with great devotion

To the theme, and as he finished with a grand dramatic pause,

He took his beer, he wiped a tear and looked for some applause.

But folk continued talking; clinking glass was all you heard.

For the saddest cut of all was that, in fact, nobody cared.

“They’ll see they cannot do without me. They’ll be sorry yet…!”

He was thinking this with every pounded note he played that set.


Just a drunken little fellow who showed up each night at six,

And who stayed till two each morning showing off his tattered tricks.

Who’d begun to think he owned the club – played host and bossed around

Other players who showed up to play. He had to share the stand.

And if someone had a birthday or a graduation day,

Or if someone wanted Strauss, or asked to sing, then he would play.

Good old Charlie-at-the-ready, with unsteady hand could

Play light opera or a folk song. In his genre good.

Not professional, but in his amateurish way he played quite well,

Playing harmonies – not incorrect – just, what shall we say, – stale.

Dearest Charlie, dear loud Charlie, he could turn a tune.

And he sometimes changed the light bulbs in his home in the saloon.


I’d have sworn he’d gone forever, if you’d asked me on that night.

But on showing up myself next week, he’d far from taken flight.

Walking round the club as always, telling all who gave an ear,

How he’d fixed the mike, had cleaned the keys, wouldn’t say no to beer:

“A strong one, please!”

©The Sadly Futile Pretence 93.7.5

Vaguely About Music; Special People Special Occasions;Small Stories Book;

Arlene Corwin






The Psyche Of The Culture 1993

                The Psyche Of The Culture
The psyche of the culture is a sickness unto death.
It’s seen in all the symbols bought and sold in every breath.
I’ve been around the gorgeous homes in Frisco and LA.
I’m not even sure what awful truth I’m trying hard to say:
I see caring homes and careful homes,
Careless homes, no car-less homes;
But car-filled phones and phone-filled cars,
And all that’s written in the stars
‘Bout phony wares and phony stares
And wary phonies
Tearing breakneck speed toward monies,
Wearing out their hearts and tummies
On commodities so crummy…
What one hopes is that one’s wrong.
If the psyche is a symbol of its deep and real wealth,
And my dinner conversation an extension of its health,
Buried deep within the system is illusion by collusion –
The throng that’s carried right along.
How I fear for those that lay their actions on that shelf.
The psyche of that crumpled culture falls in on itself.©The Psyche Of The Culture 93.4.1


Definitely Didactic; Our Times, Our Culture; Defiantly Doggerel;
Arlene Corwin



The Process Pre-mental 1993

                   The Process Pre-mental
Yesterday’s triumph was only activity,

Yesterday’s failure only black-tivity.

Pay no attention to either. They’re empty.

Ladder-like, bladder-like,

Empty, just empty.

Yang-ish and Yin-ish,

There’s never a finish,

One holding the other;

Contiguous brothers,

Like dust on a mirror,

Smoke from a fire.

You’ll pardon my Gita, but each one conspires

To fill out the day.

They’re really just clay,

And never do stay.

What is it I wanted to say?

Oh yes, playing –

And that is the point:

In sorrow or harrowed, encapsuled entire

In this wired spire

Is: each never stays,

But changes and alternates.

Always the nebulae forming from dusts

And the gases of nebulae crusts;

Total explosions that send out the seeds

Of equal potential to fill out the needs

Of new forming clusters

Grasped in their grandeur.

Its essence elusive, which rules out a seeking,

The peeking behind each intuitive find.

Speechless with awe,

Ecstasy permeates pencil and paw.

They grind to a halt,

This entire procedure salt for the day.


©The Process Pre-mental 93.2.4

Definitely Didactic; Nature In & Of Reality;

Arlene Corwin



The Finger Moves 1993

                 The Finger Moves (a little erotic poem)

The finger moves from side to side.

The finger knows it wants to hide.

The finger knows itself the bride.

The finger moves from side to side.

The finger moves inside the thigh.

The finger moves from low to high.

The mouth it makes a little cry.

The finger moves from side to side

It uses instinct as its guide.

The finger knows it has no pride.

The finger moves from side to side.

It doesn’t think. It isn’t wise.

It’s just a link and never lies.

It keeps away from prying eyes.

It holds itself to its own sighs.

With just a hint of slide and glide,

The finger moves from side to side.

The finger is without pretence.

It shies away from opulence.

It doesn’t tense,

It has no sense.

Its essence

Is the very soul of innocence.

©The Finger Moves 93.5.5

Love Relationships; Circling Round Eros;

Arlene Corwin





            Saying Yes

All this sounds ridiculously

Pedagogic, preachy,

For when in-laws or the uninvited

Come to spend a day and night,

It is not always right

And surely not convenient.


You must say yes:

It’s fate’s brought guest.

These rules apply:

All’s cause effect.

All ends bye-bye.

God never errs.

It’s pre-select.

Yin yang’s a double sided coin;

Is there on your behalf to join

What you’ve received and must give back

To what you have and what you lack.

There’s more in store

For every creature at your door.

So cook and serve,

Don’t be unnerved

For oy, the game’s been programmed.

©Saying Yes 03.6.23

Definitely Didactic;

Arlene Corwin







Primal Energy #4 1993

Primal Energy, My Best Friend #4

Primal energy

Reaching me,

Turning quant-

To quality,

And back again

To quantity

So passive,

Oh, so peacefully.

Primal energy

Out in space,

Author of

The human race;


A spot.

But what it’s not is hot

And still, it shapes the plot.

Primal energy

Is my key

To memory,



And finally


©Primal Energy#4 8.19.1993

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

Arlene Corwin




Primal Energy#1, 2, 3 1993

             Primal Energy#1
Primal energy out in space,

Author of the human race:


A spot,

But what it’s not

Is hot.

And still it shapes the plot.



Primal Energy #2

Primal energy

Reaching me

Turning quant-

To quality

And back again.

Oh, so passive/


Primal Energy, My Best Friend#3

Primal energy.

The key

To memory,



And finally,




Primal Energy# 1,2,3 8.18.1993Circling Round Nature; Nature In & Of Reality; To The Child Mystic; Circling Round Energy;

Arlene Corwin







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