Keep On

The current assignment for poetry workshop is to write a free-verse poem that focuses on the sound devices used throughout, without using clear-cut, obvious end-rhyme. This is actually a major revision of a poem I tried writing today, but didn’t come out right, so I started with a blank sheet.

Keep On

Rhythm keeps on beats on dreams on
trumpet and saxophone circle the other
and dance the staircase up and down
find new and find old and
screech screech screech these high-layed notes
and all the way through that
Rhythm keeps on beats on dreams on
the short-tongued notes roll out the brass
circle the drums and filligree the
drawn-out bass strings
tap out that tempo drummer man
and all the while the
Rhythm keeps on beats on dreams on
but that trumpet-man, that sax-man, all that brass, man
they just go till they can’t go no more
take a breather, man
you know the
Rhythm keeps on beats on dreams on
you know we play on
while you ready the next song
we’ll make sure
that rhythm keeps on and beats on and dreams on.

So… I wanted to capture some essence of a jazz show. A real jazz show, not that crap they play on easy-listening stations. And I am trying to use different rhythms and sounds to convey it, besides the words themselves. So, par example, the “rhythm” lines are a regular, metrical, 4-foot iamb line. * EDIT: So sue me… they are actually trochaic tetrameter, that’s how I scan them anyways.* While the other lines that reference the sax and trumpet are irregular and flowing, and exhibit a lot more differentiality in the sounds of the words.
The last line I wanted to be like a segue between songs that have different tempos. So you get the rhythm and beat shift. Well, rhythm anyways, since there are still only4 feet in that line.

So this version really accomplishes a lot more what I was aiming for with the first attempt, but like I said, I just wrote it, and it needs a lot more attentnion.

Maybe I’ll post the first attempt down here….