To A Trumpetless Musician Sitting Tuneless In The Tombs 1960

To A Trumpetless Musician Sitting Tuneless In The Tombs

Is his lot’s to rot,

Then rot he does;

Because of what?

Above the car-horn din,

Horned in by gloom,

Aloof, a genie sings within/

Without his being.

Now entombed,

Not faring well,

One city cell,

One man of music

Sans his trumpet.

Justice, just this once?

The Tombs is a NYC jail. Tony Fruscella was a luckless genius trumpet player put in jail for possession of marijuana. He died in July 1962, aged forty something (See Why Did He Die) He recorded little but influenced everyone he met or played with.

©To A Trumpetless Musician 1960

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

Arlene Corwin


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



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