Winter 2013 - THE POTOMAC

Two Poems

   Dan Cuddy

The Smoking Time Jazz Club

dancing, dancing
the brassy sass of roaring joy
into the night
the shine of a tune
gold, bold
like syncopated feet
and the beat
and the zump-zump
of an old wash board
and the thump-thump
the base
and bump-bump those drums
life is a dance
romance it
enchant it
don't look back
don't slack off
keep the legs moving
like swizzle sticks
drizzle a little of
blind happiness
on this old turning world
give that girl
a peck on the cheek
make her knees go weak
but pick her up
kiss her more
until the tune
makes her swoon
if you can
oh the moon is out
the horns shout


In An Unnamed New Orleans Bar


Not good
when the drummer  yawns,
and though beautiful
a blonde gowned in white and sparkles,
hair-hours worth of styling,
 curls like acanthus leaves on Greek columns,
cinctured out
"The Girl from Ipanema"
in a tiny little voice,
a whisper of stagnant emotion,
the bubbles in the champagne
stalling like a plane ascending
or a balloon leaking helium.
She lip-synced
with a larynx-lock of air
whipping its own breeze,
an empty whistling kettle
without a nozzle,
the volume so low
a baby could sleep.
She moved behind the microphone
like a caryatid on a temple,
two lips stirring,
 a branch
after a butterfly alighted, folded its wings.
A stylist, she arranged a Symphony Pathetique
from that wavy little Rio tune.

We left like the needle on a record player.
Our departure didn't scratch her composure.
She performed beautifully for the eye.

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