Impressionist 2008




The passing, ever changing,

Changing with it

Knowing, freezing


Which, of nature

Never can stand still.

Musician in a world of jazz,

A Sufi whirl, a Shiva

Dancing the eternity atomic

With eternity create/creative;

Pressing into

Strings of moments you* Take part in

In the art of –


*If I were a painter and could paint trompe l’oeil

I would paint an arrow that pointed just at you the reader.


© Impressionist 8.4.2008The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative; Vaguely About Music;

Arlene Corwin





Employable And Still Enjoyable 2008

       Employable And Still Enjoyable

Over seventy and got a gig.

A blessing in this age-ist day

When pensioners are sloughed away

Funneled into categ-


Shoved or gently eased.

I’m pleased.

© Employable and Still Enjoyable 2.21.2008

Circling Round Wrinkles; Vaguely About Music;

Arlene Corwin

Comeback 2008


Perhaps I should be grateful

That I never was recipient

Of great applause, years of adorers,

Years of being stunning,

Broadway’s honey (or the like).

Grateful that

I never had to bow out,

That I never got

To miss the kudos

(Never knowing what life was without them

‘Cause I never got them.)

Never got to play Las Vegas.

Grateful that

There never came a time of missing,

Longing for the non-existent encore;

Cheering I no longer hear.

Hair gone gray,

Kilos heading the wrong way,

You are asked to make a comeback,

(Or you’ve asked to make a comeback)

For life’s boring, and no hobby takes the place

Of people sitting in their places.

So you sweat and strain

To get those kilos off again,

To get back those routines

Where you could move (like in your teens),

With flexibility, the voice

Retaining every nuance.

We’ve seen Frank and Cher

Come back again…and then again…

We follow each rendition,

Each gradation, limitation and we cheer

Until we find our cheers have hesitation.

I am grateful that I never

Had the clamoring for autographs and tresses,

Tearing dresses, theirs and mine.

Never had the glamour and the clamor of the masses –

And the need to make a comeback,

Coming back to public whimsical and smelling wine,

Hard to define.

And still I grow.

© Comeback 5.28.2008

Birth, Death & In Between; Time; Vaguely About Music;

Arlene Corwin







In A Sea Of Indefinite Tonality 1998


      In A Sea Of Indefinite Tonality

When I write I choose the ‘I’

To work out questions.

By the by,

The process opens up to hope,

Enabling, ennobling,

Rising like a little bird,

A fledgling bird

With soft-down hops that grow in scope

And magnitude. It improvises

Till the flight is executed,

Taken up above the rooftops –

Earthiness conjoined to sky,

Combined to ply

The answer out of

All the early wasted movement.



In A Sea Of Indefinite Tonality 98.4.8The Processes: Creative, Thinking, Meditative; Vaguely About Music;

Arlene Corwin



* Title quote from Simon Rattle

If I Became A Cello Bow 1998

       If I Became A Cello Bow 

If I became a cello bow

It still would be me anyhow.

If I woke up a year from now,

There would be me inside the brow:

A cow, a sow, a doe, a crow –

A self could never stop the flow,

Give up the special, endless glow

That makes it go

From age to age and know

Just who

It is.




If I Became A Cello Bow 98.7.9

Futurity 1998


It’s always all over:

Coming trip, great performance;

Anticipation kept in chains,

Held in abeyance;

Over in a bit,

That’s it!

No supernova,

Nothing lingering to hover

Ever after, expectation always wrong;

Never what you thought it would be.

As approaching time approaches,

Change affects the latitude:


Inconstant lover

Always over,

Leaving traces harsh or kind,

Easy, hard to find –

Over and all left behind:

The future.

Futurity 98.1.19

Nature Of & In Reality; Time; Vaguely About Music;

Arlene Corwin























































































































































































Freedom’s Way 1998

     Freedom’s Way

To improvise,

One must be wise

And spot the faking –

Stand aloof from taking


If learning

To discern

The phony and self-seeking art

From substance,



The skill

Is artless and progressive,

Then, with guesswork gone

And steps unplanned,

You carry on,

Occasionally luminous

In essence and appearance.

©Freedom’s Way 98.10.22

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

Arlene Corwin

Death In Time: A Film About Puccini 1998


      Death In Time: A Film About Puccini

Death provokes. It makes me cry,

Tears involuntary.

Puccini dies. It’s just a film.

I’m shown what they will have me shown:

Magic’s throne,

Sentiment that has no use,

Latent despot on the loose

With talent of such monument,

Genius, magnificent,

Energy, celebrity,

Tireless creativity.



Matchless, still unfolding skill

Flying high on music’s wings.

Dead in its prime, and I am filled

With mourning for all death.

Irrational, but still

Stuck with a mourning

For all things that die in Time.



Death In Time 98.10.16Birth, Death & In Between; Time; Vaguely About Music;

Arlene Corwin


A Singer Investigates Housekeeping 1998


      A Singer Investigates Housekeeping

Deep down I am a sloth, a slug, a slob,

A kind of snob

And other slaves to ‘slow’.

This isn’t funny.

Decades go into the ether,

All one’s teeth are

Rotting, splaying,

Fast decaying

While delaying tactics lose the day.

I do observe that lately,

‘Slow” is slowing down and up.

Today I washed a tricky cup,

An uncooperative pan,

A savage knife, a twisted fork,

A truant spoon, a useful can –

Observing like a scientist,

The most efficient way to twist the wrist

To solve the problem cork

That will not leave the flask:

Muscles I can use to find

The pressure of the scouring pad –

Techniques in scrubbing

‘Spaces of a different kind’ –

My in-laws have a ‘simply’ task:

They simply love to clean. So glad,

That after work they clean the house –

On weekends – clean the house. I swear,

I’m starting to glimpse comfort there;

Become engrossed

In wiping up those crumbs of toast

Which lead the dedicated soul

To pledge a troth to plate and bowl

And order. It’s a discipline

I could absorb

While warbling at the sink.



A Singer Investigates Housekeeping 98.10.13Circling Round Woman; Vaguely About Music;

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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