Singer’s Lament 2006

     Singer’s Lament

It suddenly occurred to me:

No one wants to hear my voice.

They never ask; they never call.

And when I force myself on people

(As one may when one plays host)

They mostly sit and listen;

No one thrusts himself on me

With “You’re fantastic!” and most definitely,

I’m not asked.

If I were bad or even mediocre

I would understand.

Are they shy? Am I too old?

Put people off, my gold imaginary,

My illusion?

Maybe I associate with all the wrong…

My song not theirs.

It is a sign I can’t interpret.

Karma, God or destiny

Keeps me at home and writing.

©Singer’s Lament 06.6.20

Vaguely About Music; Circling Round Wrinkles;

Arlene Corwin




Showing & Sharing 1992


    Showing And Sharing

Kent and I, we talked it through.

“Why do we do what we do?”

We asked ourselves, (musicians both)

Why not stay at home in sloth?

Why not warble in a corner,

Trade Jack Warner for Jack Horner?

Seed of non-paralysis,

Pith of our analysis

Lay in the need to share each bar,

Ensnare them in the repertoire.

Play inspired, fired solos

For the ones who know.

That’s where ‘share’ becomes the ‘show’.

Sharing what you’re made of for the love!

The gig might just be one night long,

The player sucking on the song,

Like actors drawn to paint their cheeks,

And climbers to outrageous peaks.

To show and share’s the way to care;

Discovery of who you are;

A wearing off of vanity;

A learning of humility:

The royal way to get somewhere,

(Know that you’re there).

Why perform, risk disapproval time on time,

When bumpy lyrics, stumping chords,

Mental blocks that make you jump

Shock a heart that gasps to pump?

Why, when there’s the cash, the boss,

The telltale suffering and loss?

Why, when you must gather strength

To stand against the length

Of lustful arms and eyes,

Seductive men and women; lies?

In an obscurely mirrored way

You need to hear the stuff you play

Through someone else’s ear.

It’s their response that makes you hear,

You wise, the music rise.

Fame means they know a name, that’s all.

The thing one can’t give up’s the call:

Going, wooing, daring, baring,

Keeping fresh the non-despair,

The repertoire in good repair

Till wheelchair itself has rusted:

That’s the showing and the sharing

(In a nutshell.)



Showing And Sharing 92.11.4Vaguely About Music; The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative;

Arlene Corwin




Show Business 2000

Show Business

Throughout the ages,

Held to be below the ‘finer’ arts:

This show of gifts-for-pay:

To what can it aspire, and

The ones who place their song on hire?

Putting out, (now there’s a phrase) a sign

That what is mine –

The years of days and pain

It took to flower –

There to sing and entertain

Paid by the hour:

Any scale you choose to choose –

It’s a talent to amuse.

The lowest paid, the highest paid

Are forced to migrate

Back and forth a paying nation,

In a business in which name and fame

Endure a scant one-generation

In a game you’re doomed to lose.

Twenty hundred ninety two

They’ll still be playing Bach – and you,

Who sang and played your heart out,

Will not have one note of art out

In the world. That’s show


©Show Business 00. 4.8

Vaguely About Music; The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative; Our Times, Our Culture; Birth, Death & In Between;

Arlene Corwin




She Was Like 1996


      She Was Like

She was like a flower slight

That has to grow in secret’s spell

To bloom. Is such an image right?

Is there such a flower? Well,

She was one alright, her light

In secret, undisturbed, Fertilized

By loneliness itself. Outside

Influence tried on for size

Proved far outsize; for her to bide

Her time in darkness’ peace, not being

Helped by hothouse heat, its fuel

A forced support, proved best for freeing

And expanding goodness’ rule,

Joy’s renewal.

She was like a fragile bird

Who sings its instinct song atop

The highest branch alone, unstirred

By staring, stirring mass. Bopping

Bird, creating son and word

For anyone who like to eavesdrop.

Beak aimed high, not for the mate-bird

Only, but for world and dewdrop,


Universe. Who can grow

Midst crowd, much noise and tv dinner?

Solitude and nature’s peepshow

Are the dynamo

For embryonic angels.



She Was Like 3.11.1996Pure Nakedness; Vaguely About Music;

Arlene Corwin

Repetition 2004


Art Tatum did his runs to death –

Frank Zappa too.

Minimalists duplicate

Until you want to spew.

Something in us

Drawn to –

Needs to echo,

Take the heart,

And love.

© Repetition 04.7.17

To The Child Mystic; Vaguely About Music;

Arlene Corwin

Overlapping Rhythms 1996


      Overlapping Rhythms

Life is overlapping rhythms.

Writing over-

Lapping rhythms they’ll not understand.

So what! I know that

All of life is overlapping, molding

Cycles; birth and fall –

In between unfolding themes.

Four and three and five and seven:

Underneath, a pulse

Where rates and teeming fates convulse,

Then sudden…stop! And yet it’s heaven

If you look beneath the bedlam of the seeming;

The ostensible; the chasm

Between starting act’s orgasm,

Its arrhythmic spasm (breath),

Protoplasmic life

The final ectoplasm… (death).


Land/sea/town -scapes;

Swing and cadence, tap, tap,

Tapping out the shapes

In beats and forms phantasmal.


Overlapping Rhythms 96.3.21Vaguely About Music; Nature Of & In Reality; Birth, Death & In Between;

Arlene Corwin





On Reading Downbeat 2006

      On Reading Downbeat

History repeats itself

And I’m a bit world-weary.

Reading names whose faces never seen,

Whose voices I have never heard…

No longer young, two generations later

Yet I feel no difference.

History repeats and what is left?

The chain of influence.

©On Reading Downbeat 2006 06.9.16

Vaguely About Music;

Arlene Corwin


On Looking For A Gig 1994

        On Looking For A Gig

I discovered it today: vanity and expectations.

Disappointment when they don’t

(The expectations) come or go

My way. I suddenly came to a truth

That I can only call, “Why not?”

Why not walk in and say to all:

The bosses, folk – “Well, here I am, so take my gift!

I give a lift and here’s my name!”

If no one cares, no one’s to blame.

I ought to say “it’s all the same”.

I don’t.

I fuss. Today I cussed.I don’t know why I thought they’d say

“Of course you get the job. Come by

Tomorrow. Start at once.”

I didn’t get to see the man, the guy, the  chief

And forced away without a fief,

I stalked way like some old thief.

They say they’ll call. They seldom do.

That slap says, “Who the hell are you?”

And here I’m always thinking that my presence is enhancing.

Jobs are few, the money low.

I’m either doing something wrong

Or God is stopping this whole show for my protection.

“Screw the song”, He’s saying.

There are hundreds, thousands more equipped,

More talented, more single-minded. Shut your lip!

You’re ordinary. That’s your fate!

Stay at home! Develop! Wait!

Don’t overestimate position, -something’s phony ‘bout position –

It is not a fixed condition; no condition ever is.

Throw away the sword, its thrust for world reward.

Never fixed, things swing twixt and between

The past and now. You ordinary silly cow,

Cook your meals! Stay at home!

Write your ordinary poem.

Be happy ‘cause it feels nice

Just sitting at your beans and rice,

Not judging, striving, in the race,

Thanking God that you survive

This summer day. You saw a hare,

A baby – eating on the lawn.

You saw a mist-fair dawn

Descending on the lake outside.

Stay home, and hide!

Create and take the ordin- as a lotion

On your skin.

You’re not a star,

You’re just the creature that you are

Amid the circumstances ’round you,

Go to ground, eat up, get fat!

Go and buy a summer hat!

My final counsel.”

©On Looking For A Gig 94.6.8

Vaguely About Music; Circling Round Vanities;

Arlene Corwin



Naked Is Quicker 2005

      Naked Is Quicker

They cover their voices –

Double record,


Over track,


Covering over.

It enriches.

After all, it covers over.

And it hides.


It’s simpler – the simplest.

Let’s divulge,



Let’s be transparent.

They cover their voices:

Fonts and pictures

Cover to sell:


Covering tells.

Coin spent;


For evasion.

Naked is quicker.

The cover is slicker.

They cover their voices.

Not I.

©Naked Is Quicker 05.1.29

Our Times, Our Culture; Vaguely About Music;

Arlene Corwin


Musician Singer Poet 2008



A thing

To say,

To sing,

To play.

That is my life:

A universal in the daily.

Techniques learned

While singing Kern

And reading –

Simple reading




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

Arlene Corwin

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: