Excerpt Tuesday – In Memoriam John Coltrane – Stillman


Today’s excerpt is from the jazz poem “In Memoriam John Coltrane” by Mr. Michael Stillman (b. 1940) – read the whole poem here (about halfway down the page) and, if you can, read it out loud. It has an amazing and evocative rhythm. Mr. Stephen Cramer points out in the post that this poem is actually three haikus! The photo collage behind it is of Mathias Goeritz’s Mensaje: Decoración Mural, 1960. Goertiz would rhythmically pound nails through sheet metal creating a pattern with pattern and texture. I tried in vain to find a video clip of Goertiz, who died in 1990, in the act of creating one of these pieces. But you don’t need a video clip to imagine the beat of the nails driving through the metal. Photo collage and composition by me.


  1. Wow! Three haikus … this has opened up more possibilities! It’s a beautiful poem, especially read out loud. Thanks for directing me to Stephen Cramer. And I like the multiple layers from creative minds… words, images, music and the drum of nails on sheet metal. Well pulled together, Marcy, thanks.


    1. Thanks, Jeni! (Sorry it took me so long to reply – I’ve been traveling lately and then recovering from traveling!) I am so glad you enjoyed it. That is my goal is to pull together the different art forms with synergy. Thank you for the kind note!


  2. Anything jazz you got my ear,now I will have to go back and read it again but I can see the 40s in it,i was just in ny and took a pick in front of the blue note jazz club,great post


    1. Thank you! I am so glad you enjoyed it. I recently bought a book on jazz and blues poetry and so I’m hoping to feature a few more of the great jazz poems. It is a combination of music and poetry and style that is after my own heart. Thanks for following IP!


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