Dancing Between the Notes

John Fenton

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Most of these poems were written with specific jazz tunes playing in my head. As I wrote each poem, the lines sang themselves into fragments, time was displaced, and reharmonization occurred. What started as one thing gradually became another. The remaining poems were written with the song lines of a place or event or the rhythms of the road as guide. I wrote as a voyeur watching life from a safe distance, an eavesdropper, a “marginalien.” The links between poetry and improvised music are as ancient as language itself, and telling stories in new ways is fundamental to human existence. It is not a choice. I hope that I have captured the essence of the musicians’ world and the “marginaliens” found along the way.

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