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Jazz Riff

April 1, 2019

By Harriet Shenkman

You groove to the angular melodies of Monk,
Coltrane’s Favorite Things.

I sight a gull balancing on one leg.

You explain treasure trove. I read through
The Waste Land as you doze.

Sausage biscuits your favorite, mine granola.

I value decision, you the merits
of dwelling on a vital point.

Silence inspires me, you a chirping jungle bird.

You savor the viscosity of egg drop soup.
I, the surprise of hot and sour.

I float on the Dead Sea, avoiding the Pacific swells.

I am excited to stomp to the Flamenco. You
get off on listening to the strumming.

Well, you needn’t, as Monk would say, banging on his piano.

Adapted from Teetering by Harriet Shenkman, Finishing Line Press, 2014. 

Harriet Shenkman is a Professor Emerita at CUNY and serves as Academic Liaison on the Advisory Board of the Women’s National Book Association, NYC. She has won the Women’s National Book Association 2013 Annual Writing Contest in Poetry and the Women Who Write 2013 International Poetry and Short Prose Contest.  She was a finalist for the 2017 Claire Keyes Award at Salem State University and a finalist for the Jewish Currents Raynes Competition, 2014. Her poems appeared in the Jewish Currents Anthology, 2014, Evening Street Review, Third Wednesday, Jewish Currents, Jewish Magazine,, When Women Awaken, Westchester Review, the 20th Edition of the Calliope Anthology and Oyez Review. Her poetry chapbook “Teetering” was published by Finishing Line Press.  She is working on a second poetry collection and finalizing a novel.