Sunday, June 29, 2014

Jazz at Miramar (poem)

Way back when,(1990's) I attended a writer's conference in Monticito/Santa Barbara, California at the old Miramar Hotel which sat right on the beach. I think it's gone now, or certainly closed. I'm delighted that I got to stay there before its demise in 2000, as it was a little world of its own with blue tiled roofs and California sunshine, and a rich history back to the 1800's. It was a great conference and I met some of the big writers like Ray Bradbury, Elmore Leonard, T.C. Boyle and Sol Stein, to name only a few.
There was a train track and stop (surprisingly) just a few feet from the beach itself and the distinctive whistle of the train, day and night, lent a peculiar charm to the lovely old place - a main hotel and a sprawl of cottages and bungalows, green manicured lawns and birdsong.

Here was my tribute at the time:


Sprinklers do percussion
While a nozzled hose
Squirts riffs
Across a cottage lawn.
Mainstream bebop.
Swish and slide.
Girlish twitter from the birds,
Whistling fluff-ups,
Band-rats with wings
Eager for a splash.

The train screams in
With clang and clack
And chortles out
Stan Kenton style
Brash solo
Hollows out one after-beat
Of silent awe.

Beyond the tracks
Across the dunes
The waves applaud.
Curled fingers spread
and slap the sand,
And further out
The deeper sea,
Too drunk to sing,
Slurs and slurps


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