Alsace in F flat

the room smells of baguette
and bare feet tap the rhythm
of an F flat blues until we feel it
melt into our core and
spread across the place
like smoke,

we wait for fire
to consume us and
with moist & quivering lips,

i’m breathing life into you, fingers
glide alongside shining brass and
it is dark outside–

we’re bleeding tunes
from open wounds,
lose our life along the way
until we feel the chords
bent into us and blend
with what we got
to give,

there’s wooden floor
beneath my feet,
reed rough against my tongue,

stretched on patched patterns,
pulsing bare we slide
on the volcano’s mouth

with nothing in between but
lava sheets, torrid heat,
lunatic fear to
hit the ground

before the music splits our bowels
and fiercely
loves us back

thought i’d give you a glimpse into our jam session saturday night at my saxophone weekend in Alsace, France…and on the above pic you see my sax lying a bit exhausted on the music sheets…smiles…

and woo-hoo….it’s OpenLinkNight again at dVerse Poets pub and the inimitable hedgewitch will tend the bar for us tonight…let’s get poetic and have some fun together…mic is open from 3 pm EST


77 responses to “Alsace in F flat

  1. such a passion between the art and the artist…sensual energy poured into the music…like the word play in the opening…smells like bare feet, or not…ha…or they just tap…i know they tap but it is a nice touch…there are a few nice touches through out where you bring the scene to life…the wood floor for instance…the intensity in your close is great as well…another winner claudia

  2. ooh, so intense. I just love it…that is what music can do to us…transport us away from ourselves, create magic. Such a good write (again!) You’re just too good, Claudia! 🙂

  3. I found myself as I read this…sitting in a French cafe…listening to musical notes being poured out of musicians’ souls…filling the night with ghost of all who had played the tunes before.

  4. Claudia, really nice piece here. I’ve read a lot about the link between music, jazz in particular and creativity. You’ve done a wonderful job fusing the two into one here. So many wonderful lines that are very well done. I wonder how much improvisation was done at the jam session, I bet tons:) Also, very rarely have I actually been to the places I read about in the poetry world and at the various on-line communities. But I’ve actually been to Alsace, albeit very briefly. My sister was studying for a few years in Paris at Cerbonne(sic) but I went to visit for a few months back in 1998. While there we went to so many little trips, of which it was amazing how far one can travel in short spurts from there, london, bruges, cannes, and I can’t remember how the trip to Alsace came to be, it definitely was an offshoot of another escapade and we weren’t there for too long, just an afternoon, I’ll have to ask her if she recalls exactly what we did, I remember eating at some cafe and seeing some historical sites, but everything unfortunately blurs together with me these days. Anyhow, just felt like sharing this, as I found it pretty cool to have actually been to a place where others are and/or talking about. The US places are easier as I’ve been all over, but my limited extended travel, Canada not withstanding, as I’m but 15 minutes from there, never comes up, so as you could tell it was nice to see. Thanks, sorry about the tangency:)

  5. I never realised until I heard a piece of sax just how sexy a sound it can be. Very lovely piece of writing and it’s fabulous that you can also play a sexy sax. Go you! 😉

  6. I felt and heard the passion of the music in your poem today. Love how music can be created with instrument skillfully played. Beautiful lines here:

    before the music splits our bowels
    and fiercely
    loves us back

  7. Claudia, I loved every word, you’ve given me a great gift in describing the experience of making music. As a singer, musician, and composer I felt each phrase acutely and gloried in your perspecuity on a topic as complex as music. Un amore grande per la musica e vita!

  8. Man, that is a really solid ending. I love your last several lines.

    “reed rough against my tongue” Reeds are a love/hate kind of thing to me. If you get them nice and sloppy wet, they feel divine against your tongue and lips. But when they brush your teeth, there is no greater terror. I despise that feeling.

  9. Sounds like every part of you jammed it out after reading this piece. Or course you know I have to comment on the splitting bowels, my little rhyming behind might not like that too much..haha…wonderful piece!

  10. Music really takes on new meaning, Claudia when it inspires these amazing poems in you.

    And how cool — the song I finished up writing this morning is in Fb, well E of course. LOVE that key, as much now as I love the keys of C and A.


  11. Thanks for sharing with us so vividly that work the musician does that only comes to our ears as pure pleasure, Claudia. I always knew it couldn’t be as easy as it sounds, yet it still seems more than worth it. Your sheet music made me ghost-hear that old and very melancholy tune, played on horns plaintively, so thanks for that, too.

  12. opens with smells of baguette and bare feet and closes with splitting bowels. ends with love.
    there’s a lot of beautiful stuff between, for sure. i read it twice and may read it again next visit. but i also got a seductive willingness to be a little dirty here to experience this heat here.
    so good.

  13. Favorite lines for their sound and their feeling:

    “we’re bleeding tunes
    from open wounds,
    lose our life along the way
    until we feel the chords
    bent into us and blend
    with what we got
    to give,”

    Your poem really captures the blood, sweat, and tears of the musician. Wonderfully done!

  14. So saxoful!

    Great “a” assonance in the first stanza, and I especially like these lines:

    bent into us and blend

    reed rough against my tongue

    I also really like the photo. Would love to hear your read this piece. To record?

  15. I admire the way you bring the world into your writing. This piece gave us a great feel for another art form and the process you undergo in bringing it out. Very enjoyable.

  16. Deep down in that sax you blew me into a fusion of free blown passion that tears from one’s center dug from the deepest places within that one can feel, then blown to the furthest outer reaches of the universe past the place where stars are incubated to the cool dark cafe holes of the outer spheres. Mistress of the congealing arts, Claudia – all hail!

  17. There it is again…… OMG Claudia, guttural…… That’s what you are. You rip my insides completely. And I didn’t think you were going to let it out with this poem. It felt a little bravad-ish.there for a minute, with “bleeding tunes from open wounds,” and I thought how beautiful…… but mild for Claudia. And this image came to me of a beautiful young girl playing her wind instrument on a wooden floored band-room somewhere, some European, old, old building, at night. And then I got to the last few stanzas and THERE IT WAS! OMG: Volcano’s mouth, lava sheets, Torrid heat, lunatic fear, splitting bowels………

    before the music splits our bowels
    and fiercely
    loves us back

    I love your poetry. Claudia, I LOVE your poetry………… you are very gifted…….

  18. You opened a door into your world of music playing the Sax. So descriptive, the words you chose. Wonderful writting Claudia. I love the sound of a Sax. Mardi Gras in New Orleans comes to mind. Beautifully written.

  19. For the music lovers yes, but even more for any of us who have ever made music…or more appropriately, made love to it. Great lusty images and connections between sounds and bodies. Lovely!

  20. This poem reads just like I’m at a symphony and my eyes are closed and I let myself be swept away by the passion of the music as it comes to an exciting end… Beautiful!

  21. I think I can hear the music 🙂 Really liked,

    “…until we feel it
    melt into our core and
    spread across the place
    like smoke,”

    Music does have a way of seeping into us and our atmosphere, changing us/it instantly.

  22. I second the suggestion that you accompany a future poem with some original saxophone work, perhaps as background to your reading of the poem?

  23. Nice beat to this, Claudia…an even tempo that I can imagine swaying to with some brass. You make me wish I had kept my alto from days of yore…I can still taste the reed ~

  24. WONDERFUL!!! Yes, that IS what music does to us music lovers! It consumes us, tousles our hair, breathes a cool tune on our sweltered faces, and makes us feel so loved!

    Your poem really made me dance, Claudia.. BRAVO!

  25. Very kool. We’ve been doin’ some jammin too with a pretty southern voice I met in Florida. Never done much with a deep southern U.S. flavour. In turn she might help me out with a poem here when our dates clear and I write something that sounds georgian, as in Atlanta-like.

    F-Flat sounds interesting. Would like to hear that, in fact gonna try some soon now. F-Sharp seems to be what bends my blues. Loved this!!!!!!!!!!!

    Excellent write. I felt I was there. I wanted to be there. I could hear, taste, and see an excellent set of scenes. Smooth as always.

    Put me to a good mood. Thanks.


    Life can be spent
    Like white bread
    Being slowly cooked
    In an endless fire

    Atomic senses
    New taste and smell
    Familiar as ever
    During centuries

    Breathing flames
    Of perfume and incense
    In the smooth gesture
    Of an instantaneous smile

  27. This is a lovely sensual vivid piece. I love smell of baguette, rough reed, breathing life into fingers. My only comment– which shows my musical ignorance– is that I was confused by brass and reed. I,shamefully, did not think of a saxophone till I read your note, so having brass and reed together made it feel more abstract to me–as if talking about some metaphorical trumpet or woodwind. (This may be because I played the clarinet.). But I wonder if you could work the word sax in, first because it’s such a great word, and secondly because it may be even more vivid/clear. I’m not actually very sure of that suggestion–it’s just thought. Lovely poem.

  28. I’m no musician (husband is) though I feel like I know about music loving back with fierce passion. Love this and the pic of your exhausted sax ; )

  29. I will never forget my time in Alsace… majestic, enthralling… to walk the ground from which my husband’s ancestors come.

    until we feel the chords
    bent into us and blend
    with what we got
    to give,

    wish I could have joined the jam… I would have approached hesitantly at first… and then gently added just the right amount of… a layer of bluesy, sultry vocal improv… yep, I would’ve. =) Would love to hear you play.

  30. This is awesome – so lively and colorful. You really have a way of breathing life and soul (and music, of course!) into your words. I really love the fourth stanza, particularly “we’re bleeding tunes / from open wounds”. Sounds like an intense jam session.

  31. And now I know why the saxaphone was banned by certain churchmen in the US in the 19th Century. Sexyphone, indeed. Your relationship with your music is almost overwhelming, as much a part of you as breathing. We’re sharing your experiences in Alsace more intimately in this poem than any photo stream. And for that, this shy traveler thanks you.

  32. Another flawless capture of a moment my friend. You do so excel at them, bringing such expanse to your words…the sensual tunes breathing such an image into us all. The intimacy you are able to put into your words is rarely matched.

    And hey, I could do with a baguette right now…

  33. i played the oboe for a very long time – nothing like the feeling of mellow music flowing from your heart through that tiny reed – nothing like the melding of oneself with the music. lovely.

  34. Your passion is always fully expressed when you write about music Claudia…your body must feel every note played and be such a part of your being…thank you..bkm

  35. “the room smells of baguette
    and bare feet tap the rhythm
    of an F flat blues until we feel it
    melt into our core and
    spread across the place
    like smoke…”

    Hi! Claudia…
    Once again, your words are very beautiful…I find if your poetic words are read one way…it seems as if it’s an intimate poem between a man and woman, but in actuality if your poem is comprehended correctly, it’s the love Of a musician and her musical instrument.
    [By the way, the image compliment your poem quite beautifully too!]
    Thanks, for sharing!
    deedee 😉

  36. you had me from the first line ~

    “the room smells of baguette”

    not ‘bread’ but ‘baguette’ each word you use makes the images, sounds and scents much more vivid just as the words are infused with your passion and carry us along wanting the experiences for ourselves.

    your poem conveys the intensity i have always imagined {and longed for} in being able to create music, be it with an instrument or one’s voice.

    i wish you would do an audio post of you playing the sax, claudia! i’m sure that there is poetry in your playing.

    “before the music splits our bowels
    and fiercely
    loves us back”


    thank you for sharing.
    dani ♥

  37. ” . we’re bleeding tunes
    from open wounds .”

    Isn’t there so much wonderful music comes from open wounds?

    And so much of it too in your poem.


  38. A lot of great lines (“we’re bleeding tunes from open wounds” [how jazz/blues like], “we’re bleeding tunes from open wounds”, etc.

    You clearly are a musician (love the picture of the sax), so I have to ask what does F flat signify since no one ever plays in F flat, right?