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



Talent Helps 2004

    Talent Helps

All the virtues

To make envious

A world around:


Strong, kind,


(There virtues stop)


And very, very,

Very rich.

The glitch

Is talent –

Does he know

He hasn’t got it?

That a scale of one to ten

Shows that he weighs in low,

And cannot fight it?

Does his staying power count?

Should he be out there, a playing clown?

Should he cower while I grunt?

Or does he steal an era

From the standard that he sets,

Send a generation walking

In the wrong direction?

Or, is he its mirror that selection

Just reflects?

Oh, if only he had talent!

© Talent Helps 04.7.13

Our Times, Our Culture; Vaguely About Music;

Arlene Corwin

Starting Out Of Time 1994

    Starting Out Of Time

I must start out of tempo,

Sometimes getting lost.

But after hours and many tries

At thoughts and skills and inner ties,

An inner eye will clarify;

The thing is fostered, building up;

Lost gets tossed, then lost gets lost.

At seemingly no cost. Rubato

Takes up speed,

Which leads to something it itself

Can breed. Ideas appear.

Indeed, ideas cohere

In fullness and in form, informed

By sheer reflection; sheer and clear,

Like glass through which one sees, gets seen.

Jazz musicians have the key –

And those who master Zen.

I must start out of tempo,

Let the hand say when.

When I get lost, it can be years

Before I’m back on track.

But after years of lies and tries

The tempo builds up speed

As if and of itself, the seed

Of spontaneity has cracked,

Sprouting, spurting, spuming out

A finished, polished thing with clout.

©Starting Out Of Time 94.9.9

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

Arlene Corwin




Start Out Rubato 1992

          Start Out Rubato

I must give out everything I learn

Even if it’s code,

And, according to my lights,

Give it out in ode:

Everything that I observe,

The growing concentration,

The deepened observation,

The quickening of verve,

The strengthening of nerve,

The aging muscles’ detail

As part of the de-railing

Forces my ten horses serve.

This instinct to give out must surely

Imitate what’s God –

A small big bang in principle,

The origin of word,

Of A to Zed.

© Start Out Rubato 6.7.1992

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

Arlene Corwin



Stan Getz Is Dead 1991

      Stan Getz Is Dead (take one)

If someone should give you the choice

Of being a world famous voice

And dying at sixty-four.

Would you want more?

If, dying at ninety,

With nothing done worthy of note

And an otherwise unfamous throat,

Would you elegize, cry

That the lights passed you by,

That the clang

Of the tang

Of achievement,

Burned up in the flames

Of no-fame and bereavement?

‘Cause ‘Bob’s your uncle’ – you go anyway,


Is the meaning of genius


Making just sixty, a hundred and three?

Or would you choose calm mediocrity?

Maybe one hasn’t a choice.

©Stan Getz Is Dead 91.9.26

Birth, Death & In Between; Vaguely About Music; Special People Special Occasions;

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

I Do What I Do 2002

  I Do What I Do

Intending to do

What I did from the womb,

I get on a stage

Or play in a room –

Without compromise:

Extra size boobies,

Up-tempo salads

When I prefer ballads,

Gimmicky codas,

Playing for tips,

Elvis or Beatles, and rocking of hips;


Of songs I abhor.

To follow the ear

And capacity’s frame,

Expecting my will

To take part in the game,

Accepting a will

Come from God, karma, star

Without losing sight

Of the mind’s reservoir,

Taking time, sitting tall,

I do what I do



That holds back the soul,

In hope that you’ll

Listen because, after all,

I can only do what

I can do.

©I Do What I Do 02.4.4

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

Arlene Corwin

I Asked And No One Said Yes 2005

   I Asked And No One Said Yes

I asked and no one said yes.

I knocked on doors –

It wasn’t my time.

I waited and worked,

And waiting, work.

That time may not come.

Still writing tome,

Waiting at home,

I’ve finished with asking:

Philosophy wrong.

I simply hold to my song.

©I Asked And No One Said Yes 05.1.13

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

Arlene Corwin


How Does It Work 2004

  How Does It Work?

You’ve no idea

What you are doing.

No idea.

You play a chord,

(Each day a chord)

No methods, systems,

Preconceptions –


They’re there,


As mattress stuffing –



So that chaos can’t destroy you.

Resting on it

You create.

A kind of waiting on

Creation’s intimations,

And of things available

You spread your fingers.

Out it comes:


Sounding fine,

Texture, color, line

Just right for the occasion.

©How Does It Work? 04.6.19

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

Arlene Corwin

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