Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jazz Is

Jazz Is
by Moe Seager

Jazz Is
A way in to a way out
Way up down deep inside
In the feel, of the thought
Where the pulse resides

Jazz is an audio odyssey
A jet stream blowing in from Ghana
Belted out in Congo Square
A round trip ticket round
The world of Africa and Africa touched

Jazz is
A man down and out in Chicago
Jamming and trancing beyond tomorrow
Jazz is a cat in a Pittsburgh club
A Fury in passion, melodious love
A Diva in Detroit baring her soul
Bring down the house
In turns hot and cool 

Jazz is a child with a sense complex
A feel for a world beyond that given
Jazz is Havana throwing off heat
Blaze of a trumpet, bodies in beat
Jazz is a Jew on a clarinet
No hold back, he lets it rip
Jazz is a Gypsy on a wagon stoop
Strumming new found sounds in his finger tips
Jazz does a duo with Mozart and Bach
A spoon in tune with Cafe Vienna
And Jazz is a niche on a back-street in Paris
Rendezvous lovers, loners and Poets.

Jazz doesn't know solitary confinement
Be big band, be bop,
Slow motion shuffle
Be ballad, be blue,
Lay back and be cool
Be riding the groove
Come in and go out
Each time unique
Like the last time

Jazz is
A cargo the trade winds sail
To the door of the depot of the lost and found
To ring your ears and throb your heart
Stormy Monday turning sunny
Feel the blues depart

Jazz is
A riff that walks me home
Is a bass line I climb to the top of the stairs
Is the hand holding mine when nobody cares
Jazz softly whispers - I know how you feel

Jazz is
Chump change and scratch
Is chewing through the gristle
To suck on the bone
Jazz is a holler, a cat call, a hymn
Jazz is singing saxophone in the shower
Jazz goes uptown to get down
Calls night time the right time
And the right time is now

Jazz Is
An instrument of fingers and tongues
A vessel of muscle and breath
Body and mind in sync with itself
Jazz time tics free off the clock
A serpentine march out of formation
Jazz can leap to the end of the line
Make every stop along the block
A teller of history, a history maker
Jazz is forgiveness and Jazz is a bitch!
She's the mother load

Jazz is
Sweet smells of incense, of Jasmin, of hormones
Deep note moans, high pitch groans, twists and turns
Sharps that burn, flats that howl
Guitar licks that sparkle
Drum beats driven off the four corner map

Jazz is
A gas, a liquid
A solid mass of essence
A floating island centered
In the infinite sea
So vast is Jazz

So deep and wide
How the Middle Passage
Placed us side by side

Jazz is a family
A fraternity of man
Whose taproot is the music of the Af-ri-can
Poly-rhythmic pollination from the talking drum
Graced in gospel, rolls of ragtime
Tears and laughter of the blues
The gifts of many makers
Freely given me, freely given you

Jazz Is
A way in to a way out
Way up down deep inside
A way to, a path through
The mindless rubble,
The poison propaganda
Cross you over to another side

Jazz Is
No papers, no passports,
No human claims denied
No charges pressed, no back-seat guests
Welcome to a dynasty of open borders
Jazz is
A Free Country

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Wanna Make Jazz to You

I Wanna Make Jazz to You 
                          Moe Seager

We started out on a walk
In step, in time
We found a lot
To share, to find
The two of us
So smooth our groove
I wanna make jazz with you
I wanna make jazz to you 

Pretty soon we got the beat and key
Trading notes in melody
Right away we found the stroke, didn't we
We took the count way out, yes we
I wanna make jazz with you
I wanna make jazz to you 

Through the night we learned to play, okay
We got it on, on and and on, got it off our way
We found our song, our harmony
We carried on from dusk til dawn, oh please
I wanna make jazz with you
I wanna make jazz to you 

You pluck the strings
I'll blow the horn
We gotta song to sing 
Baby, this child's born 

Our repertoire, it amazes me 
So deep and down, our possibilities
Include a take I never dreamed was there
I never felt so rich, so rare 
We took the risk, we beat the dare 
Dare I say 
I wanna make jazz with you
I wanna make jazz to you 

Let's make this riff our last tune tonight
A private encore, so, cut the light
I wanna be bop all the pitch you got
I wanna jam it till you wail and drop
I wanna play it, I gotta say it
Baby please don't stop 
I wanna make with you
I wanna make jazz to you

You pluck the strings
I'll blow the horn
We gotta song to sing
Baby, this child's born

I wanna make jazz with you
I wanna make jazz to you 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sylvia's Song

Sylvia's Song
by Moe Seager

January, 2009

Dear Sylvia,

I wish you to know: how many evenings, slipping into nocturne, twilight dusk, a gray shadow merging into violet, I trek to the club, to hear my favorite singer. I seek more than entertainment, more than art for arts sake. I come looking, listening for consummate satisfaction. Jazz!

I need raucous laughs and then some. I fill with glee generated by one who feels the funny side of blue, who bares from inside out, a genuine smile. A woman whose giggle and chuckle is what we emit as breath of life. Nobody laughing at each other, but, with each other. Call it medicinal. Call it vitamin vivant. Your jokes, relaxing. Your smile, intoxicating. Bring it home.

You, a stunning example of a beautiful woman of a beautiful voice. Elegant. Eloquent. I need to hear you sing the songs of my restless mind, my troubled soul, stir my soft, so tender center. Songs of Love and Love lost. Songs conveying a message. A beacon of hope. Resolve in the face of despair. We stay in the game against the odds. Beauty is stubborn.

You're a woman whose charisma is forged from the fires of trials and try again. I need to hear - night time is the right time and right time is now! This is musical Zen. Elixir.

I thrive on testimony. Redemption transmitted on voice waves, amplified calls of my scattered family. Me, a stranger in a strange land, no longer estranged. Born again, birthed in the sweet and bitter sweet notes of the ancestors whose legacies flow on the melodic phrase of your wail and coo. Spellbinder, your moans and groans trigger a simultaneous release relief throughout the crowd. You belt out notes from the primal code of the human race. Harmony.

I need to bare up. Immerse into community because no man is an island and all too often it takes the naked impulse of a woman to recall that which I might put aside for the seemingly pressing calls to transparent routines, anemic rituals. I need to scrap compulsions to list my short comings before a condemning judge - my deranged consciousness. I need to exit the suffocating quagmire of dollar down - dollar a month - never enough. Never enough to quiet the ceaseless demands of the uphill climb against downward winds just to find myself one brick shy of a load. I need to witness. The call and response that binds us. You and I, all those present, all who would be...

I want it known, I walk toward dawn through empty nights, full of vigor, humming phrases you have sung hours earlier. You were here and I was present then, now. Sing lady sing, "In the Dark".

I glide home on weightless twin hued lights of silver and onyx. Against menacing cold your songs wrap me warm. I kiss your lips, imagination enough. Human Being Human. I carry these little things in the pockets of my day, and nights. Charms.

This poet realizes this state precedes language. It being murmurs of heart, beat of the the soul in step with a turning planet shuffling its way through the cosmos of mysteries and wonders. What could this moment be named? Magic.

You are a gift. In exchange for your value I offer the currency of my immeasurable admiration.

Baby, you shake the diamonds from the diamond dust.

In the spirit,
Moe Seager

Sylvia Howard is a jazz vocalist. Our Paris Diva, she is renowned to audiences, her legion of fans,  in Paris, the United States and Asia.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


(mantilla: a silk or lace head scarf clipped to a comb on the back of a woman's head  so as to drape her shoulders and back. Traditionally worn by Spanish and Latin American women.)


                   Moe Seager

Isabel came to dinner
All in black and feline gray
Her Spanish accent thick and wet
A glass of wine, dark bordeaux
The color of her lips

Isabel came to dinner
She lit a pink cigarette
I watched the ashes fall
In a porcelain cup
I watched her brush her teeth
With a sweep of her tongue

Isabel came to dinner
She wandered through the room
Those chestnut eyes, slits half closed
Low fires burning, those eyes
Moonlight under water

Isabel came to dinner
She stayed late
Tossing our voices back and forth
We mixed our words
Uhm...in the key of G'
Tango in the sitting room

Isabel came to dinner
She rose in midnight leather boots
I expected a mantilla
She laughed in my face
Taunted, I whispered, shall we go?
Later, a candle burning
The sleeping rose

Friday, August 13, 2010

Your Kiss

            Your Kiss
                        Moe Seager

Your kiss shot through me like
A heat seeking missile fixed on pleasure
Your breath fanned my flame
The blood in my tongue caught fire
Your kiss put back the light in my eyes
I am shining and bright
I saw the road home in the centuries of stone
A thousand years has passed
And still I know you by touch, taste, smell

Our embrace pleased fickle Paris such
She paused to star light smile
She blew a perfumed breeze
And filled the air with wind song

Your kiss solved mysteries
Stirred in my vague dreams
Of exile across sands of time
And a sea of solitude
Under midnight skies
I sang your song in the darkness

Your kiss is ageless
Its taste of herbs and oils
A balm to my lips
Salve to my soul

Your kiss was brief
And you soon gone
I stand alone
Upon the rock of ages
Where river spills into her ocean
Spellbound, still, I let go
The dam of my desires
Bursts of bittersweet streams
Waltz upon the waves

I love you so this Sunday night
A fool enlightened, a poet driven
To the brink of beautiful sorrow

The coming dawn shall feel the sun
Gently press his lips upon
The quiet nocturne surrenders all
Your kiss
              Your kiss 
                            Your kiss...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Joni's Comeback

Joni's Comeback
                                 Moe Seager
She poured a black cup of coffee
I sipped on the rim of the mug
At the one spot left unchipped
"Gimme one of yours would ya
I'm tired of rolling my own"
I passed her a Camel
We shared on the match
Ten years since high school
She looked like a yard sale item
Dust covered, cracked
The item nobody buys
Five of us once call her
To go to the same dance!
"Glad you stopped by
Never figured I'd see you
Back here in the neighborhood
Landlord promised to fix this place up
Ya know what?
I'm up shit creek without a paddle"
The little boy looks a lot like you
The girl takes a shine to her daddy
How's a, Vinnie doing?
"You mean Suitcase Simpson?"
You two ever talk?
"Not since the child support checks stopped coming"
"He lost his job and hit the booze
Said he got cabin fever
You know, when a man feels caged
Too long with the same woman"
How are you taking it?
"Now I got cabin fever"
Oh yeah, with who?
"With nobody. See, for a woman it's different
It's about locking yourself indoors
For months on end
Two sickly kids, t.v. on the blink
And watching the dog die
'Cause you ain't got money to send him to the vet"
"Can I bum another smoke?"
Help yourself. I gotta another pack in the car
She lit up off the burner on the stove
"Okay, he was here and made Noel hell
Showed up drunk on Christmas eve, 11:30 at night
Two gifts for the kids
One was broken
Last of the big time spenders"
"I put the kids to bed at midnight
He tried to make me on the couch
I finally slapped the bastard across the face
He got up, called me a slut
Stumbled into the Christmas tree
Knockin' it to the floor"
It must have been horrible!
"Yeah, broke my favorite ornament
Saint Brigid's cross"
I meant your eye
"Oh, it took thirteen stitches and heeled right up
But I couldn't put that cross back together
It was my grandmother's and my mother's
Meant to pass it on to Katie "
I'll trade you a smoke for another cup of coffee
"I'm all out. Will Kool Aid do?"
Just a glass of water please.
I drank it down in a peanut butter jar.
"Don't worry it's clean.
I sprayed for bugs"
I choked, she laughed
Like old times
Getting out lately?
"Don't ask"
"Okay, I met this guy at the Laundromat last summer
He wants to go out dancin'.
Remember how much I liked to dance"?
How can I forget.
"He takes me to a suburban disco on the mall
He wore three cheap chains
'Round his sweaty fat neck
His breath smelled like Pine Sol
The man coulda stopped a Mac truck
Tryin' to do the Gene Kelly
More like the polyester stretch"
What happened?
"I told him I was on my period.
He whisked me home like a three alarm fire"
Too bad
"Not really. I saved a few bucks on the baby sitter"
Well, there's more fish in the sea
"You mean the sewer system"
You need a nice guy type
"Cut it with that cute shit"
"Yeah, I met a nice guy type
In the super market last month
He starts flirtin', asks for my number.
Says he wants to take me to poetry reading
I figure, what the hell, why not?
There we were in the check out line
Like a couple of kids, funnin' and smilin' "
Okay, and what?
"When he sees me buy baby bottles with food stamps
The man almost shit himself "
She reached for another cigarette
I reached for her
She backed away
Tossing the cigarette into the ash tray.
Good shot, I barked.
"Be glad I know you"
So, what are you doing Saturday night?
"I'm goin' out. My sister's watchin' the kids"
Where you going?
"To the Amazon club"
Ain't that a lesbian joint?
"That's right. Any more questions"?
Just one more.
If you give me that cross of yours
I'll take it home and put it back together for you.
She turned and walked toward the bedroom
I rose to follow
"Freeze" she quipped
I sat still
She returned to the kitchen
The broken cross in a box.
She looked side to side and eyed the flies
Buzzing 'round the bulb on the ceiling
 "Here, keep it"