Curiouser & Curiouser

    Curiouser & Curiouser

I want to know just what You are;

It isn’t fair.

I know You’re there because I see effects most every day,

Trying with techniques to portray tiny marvels I survey; 

Often evidence where all my senses sense it,

It phenomenal

Demanding observational

Acuity deepened, sharpened all the time

To make more room

In this small brain mine.

So HARD to explain!

I maintain, it isn’t fair

To sense, intuit a You there

And not go further.

Perceived or grasped:

Faster, richer processes:

Reflex gestures quicker, slicker

Bod/mind far less inclined to tire, slacker,

Ageing voice extant but thicker 

Yes, this Godly thing,

While not for hire requiring attention,

Feels plainly like ascension.

Yet there’s more I do not know than know.

Not overcome than triumph over.

It may always be so until all my ten toes stiffen.

While this vital life’s still lifting

I am curiouser, curiouser,

Cursor always subtly there

And light as air.

This condition being human,

Never to be constant zooming upward,

High grounds of this sort, though not a very steep escarpment 

Nonetheless, are always sharp when meant to climb

In actions, thoughts, aims, ends and rhyme.

Curiouser & Curiouser 9.13.2018 Revelations Big & Small; God Book II; Arlene Nover Corwin


For readers whose English is not their primary language a dictionary and Thesaurus is the best gift one can give oneself.

Acuity; sharpness or keenness of thought, vision, or hearing: intellectual acuity | visual acuity.

Slick: done or operating in an impressively smooth and efficient way: Rangers have been entertaining crowds with a slick passing game.

Slacker; idler, shirker, loafer, malingerer, work-dodger, clock-watcher, good-for-nothing, sluggard, slug, laggard; informal passenger, lazybones, slugabed, couch potato, cyberslacker

Escarpment; a long, steep slope, especially one at the edge of a plateau or separating areas of land at different heights.

An Ordinary Sunday In July 2012

An Ordinary Sunday In July


Yesterday a birthday cake

To mark a friend,

And in the wake

Of cake & frosting,

Massacre & wasting –


precious  life.

Today, in churches,

Darkness from the year before

Lighting up to even up

The score

Of yet another massacre.


Syria: a nightmare for the Biblicist;

Treasured lives and history wiped out;


One more ousting

of the tyrant.


As we watch from sofas.

Sunday TV shows us

Words and hymns;

Wars, grim vultures.

It is our times, our culture.


An Ordinary Sunday In July 7.22.2012

Our Times, Our Culture II;

Arlene Corwin


For those who want the facts: July 22, 2011 Anders Breivik blew up a government building in Oslo, killing eight people, then traveled to the island of Utoya dressed as a policeman.  Armed to the teeth he went on to massacre 69 young people gathered there.

On July 20, 2012 James Holmes of Colorado entered a cinema also ‘armed to the teeth’ shot killed twelve and wounded many more people, the youngest a child of six.

In Syria, the dictator continues to bomb and kill his own citizens – for the sake of staying in power.


In Every Meteor & Stone 2012

In Every Meteor & Stone



Never ending nebulosa:

Nursery of death becoming life.

Orion Nebula – new generations:


And planets

Meter-less as life.


Why should I be apprehensive,

Worry about dying when

Life is

In all the universe

All of the time

In every meteor and stone.


Every meteor and stone –

Just think.


In Every Meteor & Stone 4.16.2012

Birth, Death & In Between II; Nature Of & In Reality;

Arlene Corwin

First Poem Of All 1959

         First Poem Of All

Something’s happening inside;

I think I’ve just died.

I’m going home to see.

Feeling is unreasoned,

Rather like unseasoned squash,

Or a ghastly recipe:

To three cups salt add four grams goulash.

Disinterested, uncontrolled field of flounces

Sloshes like a slattern in the rain;

Inane pattern

Of windrowed plain.

The definition of cumulus cloud:

Abraham Lincoln, looking so proud

Becomes a dog. Preposterous!

So I’ve died without a fuss,

For life plus I equals feeling, mood,

And all is verisimilitude.

©First Poem Of All 59.10

A Sense Of The Ridiculous; To The Child Mystic;

Arlene Corwin

Happy Birthday, Daddy 2008

              Happy Birthday, Daddy

You’re a hundred today

In a realm of some sort,

Far away,

Invisible, for

I can’t make you out, but

Your are there,

Working out things you couldn’t here.

There’s not much I remember

When I think about you as a father.

But I recollect some precious things

That made you daddy.

It’s attachment.

It’s a mystery.

It’s love that has no feelings –

But it’s love.

Daddy without sentiment;

Karmic plan to make me what I am.

The only dad

I’d ever have – or had. I’m glad.

Be happy!

Happy birthday!


© Happy Birthday, Daddy 4.15.2008

Birth, Death & In Between; Birthday Book; Love Relationships;

Arlene Corwin






Giving 2008


When the offerer knows giving

With a consciousness of self,

It’s a suffering of sorts, however subtle.


Must emanate

From any

Other aim

Than movement stemming from

The name of

Look, I gave!

My friends are perfect:

They know how.

© Giving 8.2.2008

Definitely Didactic; I Is Always You Is We;

Nature Of & In Reality;

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

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?)

How Not To Save Money 1998

      How Not To Save Money

A good job:

You’ve got it!

No snob,

And yet you eat out

Quite a lot;

All over town,

This restaurant, that café,

This talked about museum, that play,

This club,

This pub –

Why not?

You’re earning pounds, so use them.

A good flat, clothes,

Of course!

No clothes horse,

But what’s ‘in’ is key –

Not consciously,

But in the stream.

Friends, trips –

One needs the new,

To come to grips

With life. One’s young,


One doesn’t smoke,

And one or two good trips a year

Do well to stoke

The fires.

Still no risk of getting old,

Growing bald,

Losing out to someone younger

On the job or in the home.

The time’s to find out

Who you are, and what to do

About the days and nights you roam

The streets with gobs

Of energy, a heart that throbs.

Philately, a cup of tea,

Reflecting on the death of days,

The endless, certain, fickle ways

Of change –

Now’s not the time to pan the range,

Examine change.

It’s all so strange,

It’s all so new:

Now is the time to do.©


How Not To Save Money 98.7.2

Poem #1 1994

          Poem # 1: 1994

Who will die, and what will die –

In brief, will change identity?

What plans and systems hit the floor,

A heap of dust in ninety-four?

What institutions far and wide-

Disorder, borders, cultures fried?

What plaques and monuments be carved:

Informed, infused by masses starved?

What scientific theories spurned,

Records broken, taken, burned?

Celebrities. We always wonder

Which will die or just go under.

Famous men and women frame

And give our generation name.

It comforts us to see them go,

We also mourn the passing show,

For though we like a bit of smear,

To gossip, throw a secret spear,

We mourn the passing forms we knew,

Formulas by which we grew.


In ‘ninety-four, the conscious eye

Will peer out of itself while wakeful ear

Will strain itself to hear

In preparation. Throats will clear

While nose that’s sensitive smell fear:

Certain endings, circles closed,

Cycles within cycles doused.


What will pass in ‘ninety-four,

Go back to sleep to snore,

Creating once again the lore of yore?

It is a bore.

We never learn.

© Poem #1 1994 1.2.1994

Our Times, Our Culture;

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



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