The Songbird 1997


       The Songbird

I heard a singer and was moved,

Which proves not much.

We’re touched by mediocrity,

The second-rate,

The bait of glamour.

Hers was honesty,

Simplicity dug deep in skill.

Talent and ability.

Oh, so good, voice many-hued.

Interpretation, even the

Pronunciation, woven in

The loveliness.

A jazz parfait: a marmalade,

Jade luminesence

Honesty, simplicity,

Substance in each nicety;

Who wouldn’t want to sing so well,

That those who heard would feel compelled

To tell the world what you exude

Though under-known and undervalued?

(such a gift might give me hubris where, too satisfied,

I’d have to watch for sins of pride.)

For now, there’s happiness-near-bliss,

Aesthetic saturation

Having heard this songbird sing.*


The Songbird 97.10.4Special People, Special Occasions; Vaguely About Music;

Arlene Corwin

* Sue Raney



The Courage To Say This Is The Way My Soul Sounds 2006

The Courage To Say This Is The Way My Soul Sounds

Now you start,

Discarding all neurosis

Grounded in the fears of failure,

Certain in your heart

“I am creating as I speak”

Avrah kedabra!” – Aramaic.

I will lose the seven deadly sins

Or use the seven deadly sins,

Converting them to sharp discernment,

Wit and wisdom, common sense,

Clear thinking and refinement.

And singing out, and when you pen,

And when the music of your days marooned

Is opened,

These will spring from courage that says

This, my prize, my non-disguise,

My jazz, my phrase – these are the ways

In which my soul sounds

And has sounded in its silence

Since its cause.

©The Courage To Say This Is The Way My Soul Sounds 06.7.28

I Is Always You Is We; Vaguely About Music; Definitely Didactic;

Arlene Corwin



Special People 2008


       Special People

I talk to him about himself;

He ‘yes-es’ with, “I get it, yes” –

He yes’s me to death

Preferring really, stories stored.

It challenges inventiveness

To get him to mature.

Famous once upon a prime,

Drinking all that time

And smoking.

Now… a shut-in,

He leaves bow untouched,

The bass against a wall;

He’s got his memories and fantasies

And loosened teeth, some royalties,

Stomach problems.

Looking out the window

Of his ground floor flat.

Is ‘where he’s at’.

I carry on our te

tes a têtesTo see what, when and if…

© Special People 8.25.2008

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

Arlene Corwin






Small Lies 2003

    Small Lies

Too much pedal,

Run redundant;

Hackneyed chord-


Hazy thought;

Lazy will.

Lies so small

They wall you in

In need of praise.

©Small Lies 03 9.4

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

Arlene Corwin

Small Changes 2008

             Small Changes

         (Stick To Your Essence)

I just do the honest song.

Born ’34, exposed to bebop jazz in ’50,

Took it in and went from there

Using changes in the air, my hair,

The wars, the weather –

Any/every- bringing on the songs

Borne from soul-meant-to sing.


Review of Morrisette said,

“Driven, pushed, experimental…

Great but lost…

Put your money on her past.”

Revolutionary changes,

Quirky works sold prematurely –


Ready change that branches out

Is evolution-steady,

Never artful, not a standstill.

I re-make, re-work, relent.

Change seems to do me,

I assent and ‘be’ – content


© Small Changes 6.4.2008

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

Arlene Corwin






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