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H-E-Y!!!  Please REMEMBER that you can order
fantastic Zzaj Productions CD's from our HOMEMADEMUSIC site, at: 

We are in URGENT need of your
support, too, as we were caught in a "lay-off" situation (that was a direct
result of the WTC affair).

Wouldn't hurt (I suppose) if you remind them that the C-mas season is
getting near, & a ZP CD makes a very nice gift for friends who love
adventure in their music(s)



Improvijazzation Nation - Issue # 42

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Moonlight Jazz

 Dark without
 Is Darklight.
 Dark is not Dark,

 Dark is

 Michael Adams. Poet After Dark



I talked about you.

Repeating false hopes
drenched in syrup
sticky, and
by poem-glances. War in
veins waged pul-
sating for kisses,
sweet soft caresses until
nothing else mattered...
anticipation, and
talking myself into your deep brown eyes.

Come inside, see my
bittersweet pride, po wer die
I let you rule my cliche'd heart in my head
The drugged heaven-high dreams
to sorry
reality wake-ups.

I've never even talked to you---

I made all of this up.


A caress of
swirling currents
patter the panes
washing wet
against my windows
where glass-streaked
sill-races of
liquid diamond dew drops
drip down draining down-
spouts into
peace-cool pools,
small, sky pud-
dles down


I dispose of my good manners
in a clean plastic tagged bag
thrown in the dumpster
on my way by.
Each polite comment
balled up in my fist
scrunched and crunched---
with them gone
you can truly see
a reflection of yourself
in me.


Submitted by Alisha Alway



(for Cassandra Wilson)

Whisper something darkly, something gently steeped
in shadow and smoke.

Reveal the nuances of triumph and torment, torture and trust,
the gray tones of charcoal, silver, slate, smoke.

Filter all impurities and leave only epiphanies,
leave only raw flame, heat, light, smoke.

Billow and glow within like a soul, a wayward supernova,
like love, pride, hope, smoke.

(for Shirley Horn)

Only silence and cold here now, but the hopeful soul stays
cupped to catch you again like summer, like sunlight,
like manna falling from a beneficent evening sky, brimful
with stars waiting to be baptized, renewed
when the harmony returns, pushing the lyrics to grandeur,
a faucet drip transformed into waterfall splendor,
and the delighted piano tinkling its keys beneath
your soaring fingers, a spine enduring a running chill,
the notes enraptured, cavorting about like joyous gypsies.

This is what is meant by living lushly, dying
this sweet death, while the full heart beats on.

Blue Honey

Draped in regal black satin and labored gardenia's breath,
Queen of the Dejected on her bitter throne, needle-marked
arms stretching out into the mercilessly hot sea of white light,
as if praying to some deaf god, broken heart complementing
the same broken promise, she choked before the voyeuristic
audience as a tear betrayed the source of her passion.
Then through the hushed haze a sudden voice begged
"Don't just be blue honey, sing."

And though mired in misery, she lifted up her lovely head
and sang, songs of the lost unforgettable, like slave songs
festooned with despair and dreams of freedom, like war songs
detailing the cruelest battles, validating the human experience.
Thank God she sang.


Submitted by James R. Whitley




I want to be one of your fingers
when you are counting the important things.
But I'd settle for a toe
if your list is really long.


A night like tonight.
The kind of night you wish you had a friend like Tom Waits.
The kind of night when cars won't start,
but bar fights do,
and women start telling lies.
The kind of night when you want to pick up a woman,
just to leave her in the morning.
Or the kind of night you accuse the bartender
of watering down your scotch.
The kind of night, that if any woman asked
what you were writing about,
you'd have to say her.
The kind of night that started three days ago.
The girl of your dreams just left with a sailor,
your shoes are too tight,
you can't seem to get drunk,
but you get in a fight.
I have an awful feeling,
that it's that kind of night.

"Fisherman Of Love"

he looks sad
I can't imagine why
there is a beautiful lady
at his side
biding for his attention,
and a perfectly good tunafish sandwich
sits in front of him.
She smiling and pleading
trying her hardest to mean something
to him.
The tunafish sandwich,
not caring
one way or the other.
I ask him how he could be so sad
with such a girl on his arm
this fisherman of love
replied simply,
"You should have seen the one that got away."

"Everybody Hates Nature Poems"

Life spheres
I pry from the earth
in a ritualistic finger polonaise
black coal globes
charred skeletal arms
contorting themselves away from the sun
the tiniest vampires
even more imperceptible than your love
and just as deadly
I handle the mobile poison capsules
as if they were my pets
they crawl across my flesh
like your memory
trying to find a crevice
on my person to shelter them
from light
to give meaning to their
common name
that endears them to me.
The Brown Recluse.
I think I'll go and get me some soup.


Your hair made me cry.
It was on an old shirt you wore,
that I had lost until now.
I couldn't get over how beautiful it was.
Just a strand of hair.
I wondered for a long time
if you missed it.
I knew you didn't miss me.
Maybe you missed your hair,
like I miss you.
Just maybe you were thinking
of how I used to hold your hair,
when it was still attached to you.
Maybe your hair misses me,
the way that I miss you.


In the beginning, God created man.
Man promptly sat down to a breakfast
of eggs and bacon.
(coffee was not created until the day of rest.)
God looked at what had been done and said,
"This is good."
(God's no poet.)
God then turned to man and said,
"You are to be the protector of all things."
but man had not heard her,
because he was late for work,
and had rushed of without his hat.


Submitted by Jason Polecheck




The moment had arrived
This was the day for which he had worked
Hour after hour, week after week, etcetera, etcetera
This was it!
Everyone was here to pay him the homage
He so richly deserved.
His chin upright, he puffed out his chest
The medal of achievement was pinned to his breast.
But then a funny thing happened.
All of the air went out of him
And he fizzled and twirled all over the room
Like a balloon.

I don't know about you, but

A visit to my parents
is like pouring a bottle of 80 proof
down the throat of a recovering alcoholic.


Surviving and living are two different things.
To be or not to be is the question after all.
He survives year after tedious year
The head of a huge corporation with big testicles
He can show to impress people.
But how does he live?
Who is he when the cheap fašade
Is struck from his gravestone?
And why are his snout-faced children
Grubbing so ferociously over the entrails of his will?
No one knows
Including his four ex-wives who have his picture
Nailed to their dartboards.


Submitted by Laurence Overmire



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