Wander Word



By Steve Dalachinsky

steve dalachinsky was born in Brooklyn after the last big war and has managed to survive lots of little wars. His book The Final Nite (Ugly Duckling Presse) won the PEN Oakland National Book Award. His latest cd is The Fallout of Dreams with Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach (Roguart 2014). He is a 2014 recipient of a Chevalier D’ le Ordre des Artes et Lettres.

when i asked    the thin tall tenor   why he played NAIMA every week
           ( his way )
   he said             LISTEN
i thought         Vehicle   beautiful     Vehicle    -   sensual melody

why do you play      NAIMA     every week
             i ask
he says            LISTEN

i am caught at the bottom of the empty glass
with all those colorful crumpled candy wrappers
& my eyes spin like old vinyl i listened to 30 years ago
& my thoughts are penciled in by my great artist friend’s
balladeering & i ask why does he play NAIMA every week
his own way      but      NAIMA      ( just the same )
he calls it to the other members of the trio   -   NAIMA  -
then he plays it      warm soft woman that she is
              fingers that they are
           red animal that we all share somewhere

he needs her    he prays for her
he sees the opening in her name   -   NA IM A   -
many have heard you
I AM HER             she syllables thru your reeds
i am an old wound              but a comforting one
am i an aristocrat / an artist / an old law/

why is the call always bottomless when there is NAIMA to play ?
why    i ask    bottomless/
                 LISTEN  -  he whispers  - LISTEN....