A Commentary About My Music (Saxophone) Poems

My poetry is a method of renewal both for my soul and the mythological sub references I throw at you. I get a kick out of reinventing and modernizing old metaphors and symbols. But, there's a limbo between those intellects who get it all too quickly and veg's like myself who read no classical literature after the '70's. On the other hand, I watch Discovery Channels, History, Science, and all the mythical and archeological Mysteries of the Bible documentaries. All those late night videos and 4AM off-world messages make me wax poetic.

Lightheaded Gig 1996
Flashlight Gig It's not really about what was the cardboard box for! ( a metaphor for imagination, ingenuity, and resourcefulness.) If you must know the answer it's the same as I have repeated endlessly about echoing receptacles- waste cans for clarinets, etc. The echo returns immortal qualities, in this case group awareness. Venus preserves the soul inside echoing tombs. (i.e. her son Echo) Keeping personal integrity alive is sometimes costlier than risking a bad impression, i.e. the golden apple contest, or the Hippodrome opening. Print version: Volume 6, J W Design
Thru the Kitchen
with Gypsies
Musicians usually enter and exit thru the kitchen, along with the help and deliveries.
My own urbanized myth if you will, says that you CAN change, but at great cost to others around you; there is no right way to do this unless you are very wealthy. I claim mental duress and the call of the wild, no excuses.
The myth is something your friends and colleagues create after you vacate the building or previous lifestyle. Actually, it was a story I heard while working as a temp draftsman.
Print version: Volume 6, J W Design
Fades to Hope
A true story, actually happened, and I've been able to access actual photos of the incident from mom's hoard of clippings (The Record,
Oct '64), though the Boston Herald has a different story. The poem, as always, is not so much about what actually happened as what does the role of religion play in our lives.
Do we stop what we are doing or is it ok just to reflect on experience, even if it takes until later on in life to reach enlightenment? The expression on my 19 year old face says it all. The Chubby Checker reference is about the success of Civil Rights Reform and the awareness of our culture. Issues of color have faded. Print version: Volume 6, J W Design
Mass Grave
That Lies Beneath
A sequel to the Darkness Fades poem:
an unexpected trip to hell is necessary for spiritual death, rebirth, and rejuvenation.
However, unless you come back and are not fooled by the phantoms you encounter, your death may be permanent. The poet takes this plunge instinctively, hoping to push on thru to the other side, find great enlightenment and wisdom, but, the pitfalls, vices and delights, excesses and addictions could delay you till the end of life. I was there for 30 years before returning. Of course, I came back weird. We all do, if we come back at all.
Print version: Volume 6, J W Design
Por Donde Va - 1969
One of my earliest Boston poems includes memories of Mexico and references to my first wife - a Sagittarius, and to De Lorca whose symbolic struggle between Seville and Cordoba is a night display of fiery arrows. There were no jobs in 1970 and could not believe how many college grads were gathered there at the unemployment building, all of us crowding the streets. I probably had more faith in the future than I did in myself - but look where it went.
Print version: Volume 6, J W Design
Lightheaded Gig
Near Death
A gig at JMU started out warm and sunny but changed back and forth to drizzle and cold. Sometimes when you are sick with fever and flu you get lightheaded and even euphoric as though death seems like a pleasant way out of a tough gig. Almost patriotic perhaps, having but one life to give for my gig. Curfew is a simplistic answer to those who don't know any better than to play in the rain.
Print version: Volume 6, J W Design
 Improvisation 7 It is hard for me to imagine how fake music and musicians can inspire anyone to pursue a music career.
My teachers all said you had to struggle, get in trouble with your art forms and projects, find solutions that are both personal and cosmically profound. I know that's allot to ask of the average student, but I prefer that path to any other. Honest music can take any form - fake music has too many constraints, dress codes,  business principles and commercial structures. It's always in bed with something else. Also, it tends to be programmatic, literal and or sentimental. The EZ listening elevator won't take you there, but because it is so redundant you can practice thousands of overlapping patterns by playing along. Best of all, you can always revive old music and make it more wondrous by your own hand.
Print version: Volume 6, J W Design
Long Cosmic Cry
of the Saxophone
& b, 2- 6
I started out writing Improv # 8 and I just couldn't stop myself - I was looking for my masterwork. The print version of this comes with notes for some of my sub references. See the
Print Version  for footnotes such as:

1. Police code: signal seven = dead

2. People with large eyes and lips tend to be more believable, win trust, become leaders.

3. Anais Nin: Dr. Hernandez on psychological well being, "The design comes from within."
(Hence, the true
Meaning of Jimmy
Warner Design)

I want there to be as much on the surface of
my work as there is trapped in the subsequent hellish and heavenly strata of it. You can dig if you want to but it's not required. In medieval times and up to the end of the 19th century all such references were well known and understood if you had any kind of college learning. (The age of relevance)
Today one has to explain everything.
Growing up I found few people willing to explain anything at all. There's still an indifference - don't tell me that, I don't care, keep it to yourself - and my favorite one is, I liked it better before you told me what it meant. Oh well, some of us don't want to die ignorant.

Improvisation 9 I suppose if Robert Pinsky inspired me with anything it was this poem, the short list of correlatives and abbreviated profundities ending in my this, my that, my everything and not all that original. I asked him if he had written other saxophone poems to which he answered that he had written only the one and had moved on. I could no more move on than stop breathing - the sax is such a huge part of my spiritual existence that I have become shamanistic about the sax - lived and died there and come back on the Sunken truth of vaporized tears.
Print version: Volume 6, J W Design
Improvisation 10 New Years is my constant reference because in the old days time was believed to recycle and start over -  it was always the same ole calendar chiseled in stone. Holidays were for various gods, their feasts and their orgies. The things we celebrate on today's New Years are vain, trifle and boring, except for the orgies.
We have no purpose beyond making fun of ourselves (a good thing but...)
Too much of it will make you sick.
I use sax case mold and ref. to foxfire (mold) to suggest Elysian drinks of maddening potions to cause spiritual death and rebirth. But, I'm the only one holding the moldy brass vessel. The reborn man is ready for all the new gimmicks invented for new age consumers.
See the printed version of New Years Gig for more.
Improvisation 11  Murderous booth diving is something I
 witnessed on the job and not something I
 would  actually do. It fills the raging metaphor
 with  resentment over what sometimes feels
 like prostituting one's music. I do not condone
 it but I understand the urge to do that.
 My music is as it suggests, my muse.
 One does not make fun of her anymore than to
 make fun of the sacred rights and practices of
 others. Do not humiliate the hundred-fifty
 breasted goddess that sustains me.
 Print version: Volume 6, J W Design
Improvisation 12  The metaphor is steam driven, pneumatic,
 hydraulic, poolside, late night motel, perfect
 opportunity for one to dissolve, reinvent,
 resurrect, and start life all over again,
 especially if life has flogged everything
 out of you from the beginning. Call it the
 Elysian Mystery of life, but this is what
 everyone must do in order to stay sane.
 Take a break, go wild, start over the next day.
 At 14 I took my pinecone, walked thru the
 swords and torches and confronted dualities
 and the devil. All you need is a party.
Print version: Volume 6, J W Design
Looking for Angel 2000  Looking for a new encounter for the new year
 or the same familiar muse who never
 disappoints you. It's not so much that she's so
 into you, but that she feels that you will be
 really into her. She's the one making the
 choice, not you. The caution is about what is
 important, the tinsel, the alcohol or the music.
 You are less likely to find a spiritual soul mate
 who understands the music or the musician.
Print version: 0602 Shockoe Reader 
Saxmos  Plural of Saxmo, a stage name.
Girl in 1st Chair  True, but she is a composite of many, their real
 names never to be revealed.  
 Print version: Volume 6, J W Design
Playing in the Dark  
Sirens  A vague parody of the Odyssey chapter
Hell is Within  Was reprinted by my friend Paul Rattabaugh in
 his high school anthology, wow.
 If hell is what you are looking for it is easy to
 find. In mythology it is the best place to start, 
 no matter who or what you're looking for.
 Reduced to a symbol, a fable, that search
 could appear to be pointless and vain. Not
 everyone will appreciate the enormity of your
 epic undertaking. Thus, the fallacy of mythos.
 Only those who live it can understand it, or
 give it the elegant word, art and song it
 Print version in 0601 Wild Moon Transit


Storm Watching
Print Version Vol. 25 Departure
Cafe Noir
Print Version Vol. 25 Departure
Destiny Was Always You
Print Version Vol. 25 Departure
Delta Window
Print Version Vol. 25 Departure

Jimmy Warner Design, 2011