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Improvijazzation Nation poetry - Issue # 73

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ALL artists!  I am very, VERY happy to announce that IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION is ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS again.  I have been granted a (possibly long-term) stay of execution for my trip to Iraq.  I will still  be traveling all over the U.S., so new issues may be a little less timely, but (as always), we will review your materials as soon as possible after we receive them.  Look at the guidelines for submission below, please:


MUSIC:  All formats accepted.  Snail mail to:  Zzaj Productions, c/o Dick Metcalf, 5308 65th Avenue, Lacey, WA 98513  The only criteria for music you submit is that it MUST HAVE high performance energy... if you submit lacklustre material, it will be reviewed accordingly

POETRY:  Poems are accepted for publication ONLY via e-mail.  Poems submitted in any other fashion will NOT be published.  Poetry that includes some reference to music is granted first priority for publication.

BOOKS:  We will review some books; books about music are PREFERRED.  We will NOT return any books submitted for review.  Snail them to the address listed above for MUSIC.

DIY Announcements:  We will post your (e-mailed) ad about DIY projects, regardless of genre or medium... HOWEVER, this is ONLY for INDEPENDENTS... if you are a corporation, don't even BOTHER sending stuff... it will be marked and reported as SPAM!



Poets - SUBMIT your poems via e-mail to:



I am pleased and honored to be in receipt of poems from one of our earliest collaborators, Belinda Subraman.  This is like nostalgia (for me), since she was the FIRST poet I collaborated with, oh so many years ago.  Those who love poetry with an "edge" will love her pieces! 



Belinda’s poetry, stories and art can be found in hundreds of journals, reviews, anthologies and chapbooks.  Since 1994 her archives are housed at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, in the Center for Southwest Research. Belinda is also a Registered Nurse specializing in hospice care.  Her website is







Three daily pigeons on a rock wall,

each in different stance,

each stiff-still

in a listening pose…

to a dog barking,

a child’s cry in a house nearby,

an ice cream truck

with it’s primitive, repetitive lullaby.


We hear motors on the road,

a plane in the air,

wind-finger chimes from tinkles to forest rain,

the flow of a pool, a water fall,

a creek or an ocean.


Even with children screaming

we are dreaming.

We are retiring or unplugging

from the shallow anxiety of living,

not quitting

but becoming involved with our souls

if not buried in distraction electronically

or side tracked sexually.


It’s an anywhere summer day

when it dawns on us

that time just adds wrinkles,

we supply the meaning.

These are our lives

passing by.



Bird/Brain Chatter


Birds walk across the road

defying the gravity of cars,

are mowed down, sucked up, spit out.

Some cling to the asphalt

as if part of the mix.

Still, birds dare

play chicken with their lives,

march against roadway wind,

declare “Jihad” on cars.

Martyrs to the cause

or droppers of splash-bombs,

they chirp as One.

They have us surrounded.

They come to our houses.

Our yards are full

of propaganda.




Mourning the Stick


When I was thirteen

my mother bought me

a Chinese hair ornament.

It was made of leather

with a polished wooden stick

that went through it.

This was a moment of demonstration

of the warmth of my mother’s love.

These were seconds of eternal bonding

before walls of pain

blocked communication again.


Decades later

I still have this ornament.

I’ve carried it through life

as if it were a sacred light

on a loving shrine.

It’s the only object

to have survived every move:

Germany, Kentucky, Georgia, Colorado, Texas.


Yesterday I wore it to a peace rally.

At one point I sloppily placed it

in a an open tote.

Somewhere in the night

the stick fell out.

On discovery, I felt a sharp emotional pain

as if something had died.


On analysis,

the pettiness of my youth

and the stress of raising a teenager

are no longer issues.

Our late life bond is secure.

Today I have my mother’s love

with no walls or doubts.

I do not need the stick anymore.





Hot Flash Blues


Ying Yang presenting at once

instant karma of good and bad

half full, half empty

admired and denigrated

appreciated and scorned

moving in circles


in my mind

three personalities

depressingly exciting

satisfied and hungry

holding back

the obvious,

giving away the secret

of who I am



Mickey and Minnie’s Fancy Date


He’s taking her

out to a new garbage can

where rich neighbors

throw away enough food

to feed all the starving mice

in Africa.


It’s Minnie’s first taste

of classy leftover wine,

sex on a bed of caviar

and severe indigestion.


Not only is Minnie full,

her bulging belly

is ready to have ratlets

any minute.


Mickey relaxes

among fillet remains

knowing his mice

will be proud

to be born

among country club trash.


He falls asleep.


                        Mickey’s Nightmare



                                    heavy breathing

                                    above the neat arch

                                    of a Disney mouse house…

                        footsteps slowing…


                                    Shower drip pounding

                                    like Mickey’s heart…

                        confusing movements…

                                    tail catching underfoot

                                    of human


                        two cats approaching…

                                    no cheese

                                    or hope in sight…


Then he awakens.

Minnie and the new

little mice are fine

and they pray to the

Holy Rat Father

in Eternal Good Garbage

forever and ever

without cats or men.




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