Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
radiating
street lamps
ionized the
indigo blue
haze charging
the night air

sparking the
city’s eclectic
currents coursing
through the
abandoned raceways
and empty streets

energizing the
phantoms of
the city’s
restive spirits

the ghosts of past
Great Falls Fests came
jitterbugging back
to life

transparent
veils lifting
and falling
with it, a voltaic
indigo blue
billowed out of the
abandoned stadium
pouring smoking
oboe moans
into the cavity
of the great gorge

“I was one of the last
to perform at
Hinchliffe Stadium”
Duke proclaimed
with his usual  
distinguished air

“it was also one of my
last concerts”, he added
with a tinge of
sorrow in his voice

“the band was rockin
the Art Deco tiles,
splintering and shattering
into bits of earth toned graffiti
the last vestiges of
a bygone Jazz Age
dissolving into the
disco fizz of the
Seventies”

the indigo mood
clamoured off
the rocks absorbing
the sonorous waves
like a stand of
hallowed
sequoias

“I’m trying to
remember what
my last tune
was that night.

was it Caravan?
or a Prelude to
a Kiss?  No no
too mellow
we always ended
on an upper
a real crowd pleaser,
I recall the boys swung
a medley before the grand finale
that medley included
Mood Indigo, Caravan,
Sophisticated Ladies,
Prelude to a Kiss.
We opened with Kinda Dukish
Rockin and Rhythm
we closed with
Satin Doll
Yes I’m quite sure
I waltzed them
off the floor
that night with
Satin Doll”

Duke ran his
fingers through
his processed hair.
He grabbed my shoulders
raised his baggy eyelids
And looked me straight
In the eye

“Yes, we followed
Tito Puente, he killed it
we upped our game
He was just starting out
But at this time Silk City
was going Caribe
Juan Tizol was
out of his mind that night,
I thought him and Babs
we're gunna jump ship
and join the Salsa Circus
Yeah El Rex and Celia Cruz
were that good

El Rex had the place
jumpin and jivin
it was a glimpse of the old days
livin in the here and now
just like the old days
I couldn't compete with that
so I waltzed them off
the floor with Satin Doll
a little cheek to cheek swoon
maybe some guys got lucky that night
and maybe some girls fell in love
Yeah Paterson was changing,
the ***** Leagues long gone
the last ****** Auto Races
crossed the final finish line weeks before
when the raceways in the stadium
replaced the raceways to the factories
we knew it was coming to an end
and with it all the good paying
jobs, whatta shame
just like me and the boys
watching El Rex
the Duke was dethroned by a King
just like Silk City
we had our day in the sun too
a Satin Doll Sun
Those were some good times,
sometimes”

Duke scratched
his head,
and he looked down into
the swirling noise
of the Great Falls
“on a night like this
the mood indigo
takes you into the
darkest hues of blues”

fragment from
Silk City PIT 6:
The Great Falls

Duke Ellington, Coleman Hawkins
Mood Indigo




Oakland
3/30/13
jbm

(FRAGMENT WORK IN PROGRESS)

Part 6 of extended poem Silk City PIT.  PIT is an acronym for Point In Time.  PIT is an annual census American cities conduct to count the homeless population.  Hope and Labor is the city motto of Paterson NJ, nick named The Silk City.
(FRAGMENT WORK IN PROGRESS)

Part 6 of extended poem Silk City PIT.  PIT is an acronym for Point In Time.  PIT is an annual census American cities conduct to count the homeless population.  Hope and Labor is the city motto of Paterson NJ, nick named The Silk City.
Le temps a laissé son manteau ("The season has cast its coat aside")
by Charles d'Orleans (c. 1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation/modernization by Michael R. Burch

The season has cast its coat aside
of wind and cold and rain,
to dress in embroidered light again:
bright sunlight, fit for a bride!

There isn't a bird or beast astride
that fails to sing this sweet refrain:
"The season has cast its coat aside!"

Now rivers, fountains, springs and tides
dressed in their summer best
with silver beads impressed
in a fine display now glide:
the season has cast its coat aside!

The year lays down his mantle cold
by Charles d'Orleans (c. 1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation/modernization by Michael R. Burch

The year lays down his mantle cold
of wind, chill rain and bitter air,
and now goes clad in clothes of gold
of smiling suns and seasons fair,
while birds and beasts of wood and fold
now with each cry and song declare:
“The year lays down his mantle cold!”
All brooks, springs, rivers, seaward rolled,
now pleasant summer livery wear
with silver beads embroidered where
the world puts off its raiment old.
The year lays down his mantle cold.

Winter has cast his cloak away
by Charles d'Orleans (c. 1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation/modernization by Michael R. Burch

Winter has cast his cloak away
of wind and cold and chilling rain
to dress in embroidered light again:
the light of day—bright, festive, gay!
Each bird and beast, without delay,
in its own tongue, sings this refrain:
“Winter has cast his cloak away!”
Brooks, fountains, rivers, streams at play,
wear, with their summer livery,
bright beads of silver jewelry.
All the Earth has a new and fresh display:
Winter has cast his cloak away!

Note: This rondeau was set to music by Debussy in his “Trois chansons de France.”



The original French rondeau:

Le temps a laissé son manteau
De vent, de froidure et de pluie,
Et s’est vêtu de broderie,
De soleil luisant, clair et beau.

Il n’y a bête, ni oiseau
Qu’en son jargon ne chante ou crie :
"Le temps a laissé son manteau."

Rivière, fontaine et ruisseau
Portent en livrée jolie,
Gouttes d’argent d’orfèvrerie,
Chacun s’habille de nouveau :
Le temps a laissé son manteau.



Charles d’Orleans (1394-1465) was a French royal born into an aristocratic family: his grandfather was Charles V of France and his uncle was Charles VI. His father, Louis I, Duke of Orleans, was a patron of poets and artists. The poet Christine de Pizan dedicated poems to his mother, Valentina Visconti. He became the Duke of Orleans at age 13 after his father was murdered by John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. He was captured at age 21 in the battle of Agincourt and taken to England, where he remained a prisoner for the next quarter century. While imprisoned there he learned English and wrote poetry of a high order in his second language. A master of poetic forms, he wrote primarily ballades, chansons, complaints and rondeaux. He has been called the “father of French lyric poetry” and has also been credited with writing the first Valentine’s Day poem.

Keywords/Tags: France, French, translation, Charles, Orleans, Duke, first Valentine, rondeau, chanson, rondel, roundel, ballade, ballad, lyric, Middle English, Medieval English, rondeaus, rondeaux, rondels, roundels, ballades, ballads, chansons, royal, noble, prisoner, hostage, ransom, season, seasons, winter, cold, snow, rain, summer, light, clothes, embroidered, embroidery, birds, beasts, sing, singing, song, refrain, rivers, springs, brooks, fountains, silver, beads
Rondel: Your Smiling Mouth
by Charles d'Orleans (c. 1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation/modernization by Michael R. Burch

Your smiling mouth and laughing eyes, bright gray,
Your ample ******* and slender arms’ twin chains,
Your hands so smooth, each finger straight and plain,
Your little feet—please, what more can I say?

It is my fetish when you’re far away
To muse on these and thus to soothe my pain—
Your smiling mouth and laughing eyes, bright gray,
Your ample ******* and slender arms’ twin chains.

So would I beg you, if I only may,
To see such sights as I before have seen,
Because my fetish pleases me. Obscene?
I’ll be obsessed until my dying day
By your sweet smiling mouth and eyes, bright gray,
Your ample ******* and slender arms’ twin chains!

Charles d’Orleans (1394-1465) was a French royal born into an aristocratic family: his grandfather was Charles V of France and his uncle was Charles VI. His father, Louis I, Duke of Orleans, was a patron of poets and artists. The poet Christine de Pizan dedicated poems to his mother, Valentina Visconti. He became the Duke of Orleans at age 13 after his father was murdered by John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. He was captured at age 21 in the battle of Agincourt and taken to England, where he remained a prisoner for the next quarter century. While imprisoned there he learned English and wrote poetry of a high order in his second language. A master of poetic forms, he wrote primarily ballades, chansons, complaints and rondeaux. He has been called the “father of French lyric poetry” and has also been credited with writing the first Valentine’s Day poem.

Keywords/Tags: France, French, translation, Charles, Orleans, Duke, first Valentine, rondeau, chanson, rondel, roundel, ballade, ballad, lyric, Middle English, Medieval English, rondeaus, rondeaux, rondels, roundels, ballades, ballads, chansons, royal, noble, prisoner, hostage, ransom, mouth, eyes, arms, *******, hands, feet, foot, fetish, obscene, ***, desire, lust
Oft in My Thought
by Charles d'Orleans (c. 1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation/modernization by Michael R. Burch

So often in my busy mind I sought,
    Around the advent of the fledgling year,
For something pretty that I really ought
    To give my lady dear;
    But that sweet thought's been wrested from me, clear,
        Since death, alas, has sealed her under clay
    And robbed the world of all that's precious here—
        God keep her soul, I can no better say.

For me to keep my manner and my thought
    Acceptable, as suits my age's hour?
While proving that I never once forgot
    Her worth? It tests my power!
    I serve her now with masses and with prayer;
        For it would be a shame for me to stray
    Far from my faith, when my time's drawing near—
        God keep her soul, I can no better say.

Now earthly profits fail, since all is lost
and the cost of everything became so dear;
Therefore, O Lord, who rules the higher host,
    Take my good deeds, as many as there are,
    And crown her, Lord, above in your bright sphere,
        As heaven's truest maid! And may I say:
    Most good, most fair, most likely to bring cheer—
        God keep her soul, I can no better say.

When I praise her, or hear her praises raised,
I recall how recently she brought me pleasure;
    Then my heart floods like an overflowing bay
And makes me wish to dress for my own bier—
    God keep her soul, I can no better say.

Charles d’Orleans (1394-1465) was a French royal born into an aristocratic family: his grandfather was Charles V of France and his uncle was Charles VI. His father, Louis I, Duke of Orleans, was a patron of poets and artists. The poet Christine de Pizan dedicated poems to his mother, Valentina Visconti. He became the Duke of Orleans at age 13 after his father was murdered by John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. He was captured at age 21 in the battle of Agincourt and taken to England, where he remained a prisoner for the next quarter century. While imprisoned there he learned English and wrote poetry of a high order in his second language. A master of poetic forms, he wrote primarily ballades, chansons, complaints and rondeaux. He has been called the “father of French lyric poetry” and has also been credited with writing the first Valentine’s Day poem.

Keywords/Tags: France, French, translation, Charles, Orleans, Duke, first Valentine, rondeau, chanson, rondel, roundel, ballade, ballad, lyric, Middle English, Medieval English, rondeaus, rondeaux, rondels, roundels, ballades, ballads, chansons, royal, noble, prisoner, hostage, ransom
Spring
by Charles d’Orleans (c. 1394-1465)
loose translation/interpretation/modernization by Michael R. Burch

Young lovers,
greeting the spring
fling themselves downhill,
making cobblestones ring
with their wild leaps and arcs,
like ecstatic sparks
drawn from coal.

What is their brazen goal?

They grab at whatever passes,
so we can only hazard guesses.
But they rear like prancing steeds
raked by brilliant spurs of need,
Young lovers.



Original French text:

Jeunes amoureux nouveaulx
En la nouvelle saison,
Par les rues, sans raison,
Chevauchent, faisans les saulx.
Et font saillir des carreaulx
Le feu, comme de cherbon,
     Jeunes amoureux nouveaulx.
Je ne sçay se leurs travaulx
Ilz emploient bien ou non,
Mais piqués de l’esperon
Sont autant que leurs chevaulx
     Jeunes amoureux nouveaulx.



Charles d’Orleans (1394-1465) was a French royal born into an aristocratic family: his grandfather was Charles V of France and his uncle was Charles VI. His father, Louis I, Duke of Orleans, was a patron of poets and artists. The poet Christine de Pizan dedicated poems to his mother, Valentina Visconti. He became the Duke of Orleans at age 13 after his father was murdered by John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy. He was captured at age 21 in the battle of Agincourt and taken to England, where he remained a prisoner for the next quarter century. While imprisoned there he learned English and wrote poetry of a high order in his second language. A master of poetic forms, he wrote primarily ballades, chansons, complaints and rondeaux. He has been called the “father of French lyric poetry” and has also been credited with writing the first Valentine’s Day poem.

Keywords/Tags: France, French, translation, Charles, Orleans, Duke, first Valentine, rondeau, chanson, rondel, roundel, ballade, ballad, lyric, Middle English, Medieval English, rondeaus, rondeaux, rondels, roundels, ballades, ballads, chansons, royal, noble, prisoner, hostage, ransom
Jessie Jan 2016
Page 1 The first time I met Duke, I was tripping on shrooms. In fact, it was the first time I dabbled in psychedelics as well-- just don’t underestimate me in the marijuana department. The moment I can recall vividly comprised of the walk from the music hall which brought us to underneath the Moody Towers residential buildings, where there is wind and benches. A square of dirt rests behind the two benches facing one another; the distance apart from the benches being just far away enough to notice the gap of distance when conversing with someone on the other side. There was a main square of dirt, consisting of hundreds of butts twirled within the earth, scraggly weeds, and one relatively low sitting, yet ominous tree. This tree often glowed during the segments of the day in which the sun found itself to gazing down on the towers and its delinquent inhabitants. On many occasion during these occurrences you could find me, or perhaps Duke, basking in the serenity of the simplicity of the slivers of light breaking free through the emerald green mass of the tree. On this particular night I’m recalling, it was nighttime, causing the yellow of porch lights to dim the other color palettes. Except the sky was royal purple, and the grass in the distant hillside was writhing and crawling and breathing-- according to the mushrooms. Half of the bodies there that night were standing, half sitting, and there couldn’t have been more than a dozen of us. Here is this person in my indirect line of sight, and I couldn’t quite pinpoint the gender, but cute regardless. My guess of girl pursuing boyhood turned out to be correct. Small, almost delicate frame like mine, only he attempted to conceal his when I had long ago grown out of that. With a plaid button down and the collar poking outside of his oversized dark casual suit blazer. It was tied off with baggy khaki pants and clunky black sneakers similar to the ones the chefs in the cafeteria wear with a sense of longevity.
Page 2 His hair took inspiration from the typical pubescent teenage boy, straight and shaggy, and nearly covering the ears and eyes with a combination of strips of platinum blonde, ***** blonde, and light brown wisps. His almond shaped almond colored eyes were framed with black, square and thick glasses, but they seemed to help compensate for size with the natural petiteness of his face. Pink snakebites resided beneath his bottom lip, emphasizing the common nature of his lips that often formed a tight line, even when speaking. I only saw him from a distance that night. We didn’t introduce ourselves to each other until the next day, at that same location. There were less people now, and I was no longer in an altered state of mind. Well, to be honest, I still most likely was, but it certainly wasn’t shrooms. I don’t remember who began the introduction first, but I know his was accompanied with an abundance of compliments on my outfit and level of cuteness. As masculine as his mind was, he could still have an appreciation for the arts, for unique style, as any natural born writer would be so inclined. So there, underneath moody, I met him, within a social circle so new to me yet so familiar within the ebb and flow in the air of cigarette smoke, sometimes so pungently thick and keen against the tide of stimulating conversation. I felt a sense of belonging new to me.
Page 3 And there again and again, I saw him. The central station of our friends. There I slowly got to know him. I learned he lived about an hour away from Houston, he was a creative writing major, he was a freshman just like me and lived in the same building as me. We were both INFP’s on that Meyers-Briggs personality test. I had never met another INFP. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more his general profile seemed familiar to me. And then I remembered. RoomSync, an app the university had us use to select a random roommate. I remember considering someone’s profile that possessed all the qualities of Duke, before my current roommate reached out to me, unfortunately. Duke might have been my roommate in another reality-- remember the Multiverse Theory. I wonder if that would have even changed anything. But that thought process is futile. Once, in the initial stages, Duke had been rambling about modern horror and the author of the fight club, and where the two converge with the product of a gruesome short story. Not many accepted Duke’s invitation to read the short story, but I volunteered. But that is when I remember the beginning of Duke’s admiration for fight club. The concept of it. In fact, one of the first nights, I remember vividly as the Fight Club Night. Where Duke insisted on starting up our own Smircle fight club sometime, what what better time to do so, he thought, then right at that moment with his buddy Otis while drunk on ****** life and four lokos and *****? They were both at least eight shots deep in their sorrows when they ended up disappearing for what seemed to the rest of us like mere seconds. When we found them, we had ventured that way due to the need and ability to smoke a bowl behind the dumpster a few steps nearby. And when we found them, only one was standing. In the recounting later, Duke had apparently taken a nasty blow to the stomach after slamming a few hits in himself.
Page 4 As he lay there, sprawled face-down on the pavement, disoriented and disheveled, for a solid eight minutes at least until he determined he wasn’t going to puke. The remainder of the night was spent accompanying the rest of the group with Otis, forever refusing to let go of the moral dilemma that had just been established by this pseudo-fight club on which it is incorrect on all accounts to punch a drunk person in the stomach, because they are, in fact, drunk. This might appear annoying after a while, but the radical and lively energy that would radiate from the banter of Duke and Otis made this situation anything but.

Page 5   And so were my first stories of Duke, and so it was for many stories to come. Our stay at this place began to feel more permanent as our bodies would steadily adjust to the ranging, sporadic temperatures outside and as our eyes took in absorbing the physical evidence of the seasons. As it was, at any time throughout the day, my route would take me down to our spot underneath Moody, where Duke might or might not be there himself, shmoozing around with cigarettes and doodles on pen and paper noteworthy of Tim Burton. I got to know Duke. He seemed to have mastered the skill in which I prided myself most in, and that is the warmth near him that urges someone near him to just open your heart and reveal your thoughts and secrets-- that blind trust. Duke had a way of getting to exactly what was on my mind. And in exchange of me sharing, out came the stories of Duke’s life, the sad, ****** up, abusive stories. I heard those the most, for they were also the most compelling, and most exciting, and ******* sometimes Duke could even make them funny.

These days, Moody feels empty. Just because of minus one.
This is a short story I wrote for a dear friend I met my first semester in college, and this dear friend committed suicide before Thanksgiving in 2015. The page numbers stand for the pages in which I wrote the original copy, on fragmented pieces of notebook paper. It’s a very rough draft, but I wanted to put it out into the world. You will be severely missed, forever and always, Duke.
RW Dennen Sep 2014
I just want to be
a Duke of a Universe
is this too much to ask?
I could use
The Black Hole as a pool pocket
and the planets as pool-*****
and declare you
Vice Duke inspecting graffiti
on planet restroom walls,
and you report to me
those words of wisdom
of Plato, Nietzsche, Kilroy and cornbread...

I just want to watch
comets streek across
the heavens
and watch tiny pulsars blink minute rotations,
and newly created stars explode
and belch their heavenly gases
And see masses and masses
of nebulae
stretching outward
like blowy-toy-pinwheels
And I'll take the " Big Dipped"
and dip it in the " Milky Way"
while playing marbles
with tiny asteroids
And use the heavens as my
painter's canvas
and splash on newly Constellations
And use the many Suns
to warm my chilly hands,
The return from farthermost
planets of Sunless Lands

Oh my BOSS!!
I'm getting too serious
as you can easily see
And why worry?
Because I'm already
a Duke of a Universe,
The talk of the playground campus
The talk among every prominent
Neo-Freudian and Neo-Skinnerian
The talk about my wisdom writings
found near almost flushing toilet
at "QUACKSVILLE UNIVERSAL UNIVERSITY"
Here come the med cart
Here come the med cart

That's all folks

— The End —