|La Diseuse de bonne aventure (The Fortune Teller) by Caravaggio (The Louvre)|
John Grey's winning poem this month does not feature a fortune teller, but it does display the side of life associated with the noir.
after the arousal of jazz, pools of water
collecting like shells on the sidewalk. All
shapes. All depths. Some I step over. Some
I splash right into. Not ready yet to let the
quiet back in. Surrendering man's jazz for the
jazz of the world, less brassy, more spread,
just as toxic. Like low tide. Like the world
spread out before me like something uncovered
just now. A woman rushing by. A crawling taxi cab.
A story here. A story there. Some stories written
so deep it takes a rain-washed manhole cover
to keep them down. Oh and there's my story.
All those dark shapes rolling in and me
at their mercy. Writhing, panicked deep inside
jazz and a little of everything else edging away.
And then some rain and some dark streets and it
This month's judge, Jenene Ravesloot has this to say about the winning poem: "This poem captures the essence of all things noir: the dark streets of any Big City; rain-soaked sidewalks; the narrator's story with "All those dark shapes rolling in;" the inevitable mention of jazz, the memory of it lingering like a hangover in this poem. Things sing here with gorgeous lines, the brilliant use of alliteration, repetition, and variation. It has been a real pleasure to read 'On Jazz Street.'"
Congratulations to John Grey, and thanks to the other poets who entered the April competition. John retains copyright ownership of his poem.