Writers, poets, and artists often draw creative inspiration from each other in ways that produce memorable moments. Such was the case in 2012 when Death of a Bebop Wife author, Grange "Lady Haig" Rutan, happened upon a post of my poem, “Philosophy of the Midnight Skylark in a Jazz Suite Mode,” on the former Creative Thinkers International community website.
I was slightly familiar the music of her former husband, jazz pianist Al Haig. However, I knew nothing at all about her own work at the time, and consequently was stunned when she sent me a message to express the impact my poem had had on her.
What follows, in observation of Jazz Appreciation Month, National Poetry Month, and Poem In Your Pocket Day, is the poem Rutan found moving enough to write me about, and the response from her which I treasure still. The communication is presented in her original all-caps style:
Philosophy of the Midnight Skylark in a Jazz Suite Mode
Hot rumbling notions of bittersweet blueswomen
fog elegant sidewalks with the ghosts of tears
howling saxophonic testimonies to lies
told on history––and blame placed on love.
Street lamps and big cats wear my face gently
like a mask of painted poems and nude prayers.
In a midnight skylark jazz suite mode
the downbeat climbs its way back up to clarity.
Perfumed adagios of purple lull twilight to sleep
as rivers of winged reflections wake the power of dreams.
Feather and bone unravel while tongues of song
spit overloaded gigabytes of pain exploding faith.
Stoned lions roar nuclear lyrics about the way
it used to be never coming back again. Tough shit so
truly uncool. In a midnight skylark jazz suite mode
piano sorcerers translate prophecies of angst
into silk equations of bebop equals mc/square sublime.
(from The River of Winged Dreams)
Contemporary award-winning American author of classically-styled works in history, poetry, creative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and journalism.