Karen Dowell



iwannaplay jazz
so bad
my head aches
with the tension
of unresolved
chord progressions
my heart beats
with polyrhythmic

I worship the old masters
and their fresh young acolytes
transcribe solos
imitate tone, tonguing, technique
until my lips bleed
sigh with vibrato
that fades slow and sweet
memorize scales, chords, modes
tunes in 12 keys
favorite little licks
patterns against changes
1 7 b7 2 6 5
Dm G7 C Cm F7 Bb
anyone can improvise

and freeze

unable to fuse
technical skill and creativity
unable to sing scat with my horn
like Ella after choir
all I can do is
listen in awe


iwannaplay jazz
so bad


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