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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: End (02/13/06)

TITLE: Torch Singer Blues
By David Ian


Torch Singer Blues

Torch Singer, Torch Singer
Songs dressed in ivory
Sultry tones drowning
In gin

Your dress is scarlet
The color of passion
But your eyes are singing
The blues

You gaze into space
To some far away place
Somewhere, anywhere
Thatís not here

Youíre searching for a Johnny
To take you away
And youíre holding auditions
Each night

Youíre not looking
For a white picket fence
Or a scrapbook of memories
And sunsets

Just a man with no strings
And hands that are magic
With nothing hidden under
His sleeves

Who doesnít quit easily
Or take No for an answer
But gauges your space
And your time

Who reads you like a book
Beside the bedside
So he knows all your
Wants and your needs

Where a slap to the face
Means ďCome back here next time
If you really meant
What you said.Ē

Heís got what it takes
To fan the dead coals
And flash your life
Into flames

But through the dim haze
Of the smoke filtered lights
Itís the same faire you see
Every night

And here I sit
With my alto baby
Playing softly through
Her reeded lips

Aní moviní my fingers
Down her gentle curves
Aní making her moan
In the dark

Yeah I got what it takes
And I got what ya need
Iím not the kind who needs
To rehearse

But Iím not your guy
Though youíre not certain why
And you never could
Put it to words

So the night closes in
With its shadowy bars
And you sing like a canary
Thatís caged

And you finish your set
And they turn up the chairs
And they sweep up your hopes
With the dust

So I pack up my baby
Sheís finished for the night
And Iím done with this
Dead end scene

Aní the next dirty town
With another smokey gig
Awaits with the rising
Full moon

And at the city limits
Where the stars kiss the sky
I hear you knocking
At my empty room.

Yeah itís the end of the line
For what was never to be
I just canít stay and baby
Youíll never leave.

--Torch Singer Blues

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This article has been read 1087 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Crista Darr02/22/06
Wow, I'm blown away by this brave, passionate, powerful piece of writing. Amazing work!
Shari Armstrong 02/23/06
It felt like an old black and white movie, but full of color (but not colorized!) wow!
Jan Ackerson 02/23/06
Yes! This is very evocative of a bygone era, and you did a great job of capturing loneliness and emptiness. Your title was absolutely perfect. I wish you'd sustained the rhythm of two-or-three syllables only at the end of each stanza, as that seemed to add to the "sway" of this piece. That's a very minor thing: this is masterful poetry.
Joanne Malley02/23/06
Very nicely done! I like the nostalgic tug it lends to the reader. :)
Amy Michelle Wiley 02/23/06
I agree that this was technically well written. I personally, however, did not feel that it had a Christian world veiw and felt that it was a bit too sensual.
Garnet Miller 02/23/06
Interesting. I like the feel of the piece. I could see her knocking on the door at the end.

Anita Neuman02/23/06
I liked the feel of this piece - deep, nostalgic, moody. I love how you described playing the sax (that's what I was assuming it was). I was wondering, too, where this fits with a Christian world view. But other than that, it was masterfully written.
Melanie Kerr 02/23/06
I love the line:-

"And they sweep up your hopes
With the dust"

You created a mood with your words and rythmn that was quite bluesy. I could hear the saxophone!
David Ian02/23/06
For those of you struggling with the "Christian World View" -- It's metaphorical; think Woman At The Well. Remember it doesn't have to be overt or the main thrust of the piece. If you want further understanding, PM me. --David Ian
Linda Watson Owen02/23/06
Wonderful imagery in this evocative poem, David! I love the word plays you used 'no strings' 'bars' etc. weaving the images of music in and around the dark images of loneliness and yearning. So skillfully written!
Andre Kingston02/24/06
WOW! What an amazing poem. You did a great job with the images. You played with the words. You succeeded in creating the feel, the language and the atmosphere of such movies as Casablanca. There is only one minor thing. There is a line that ends a stanza:
"So he knows all your
Wants and your needs"
This line would do better if you removed the second 'your'. This one word throws off the balance of your rhythm and tripped me up as a reader.

BTW - the sensuality in the poem really worked for me. It harkens to Song of Soloman in my heart.
Benjamin Stephens02/24/06
Yeah Baby! (Finger snaps) Cry me a river.

Welcome back, David.
Sandra Petersen 02/24/06
Wow! You got me almost blushing toward the middle! Three of the stanzas connected with me:
"Your dress is scarlet
The color of passion
But your eyes are singing
The blues....

And here I sit
With my alto baby
Playing softly through
Her reeded lips

Aní moviní my fingers
Down her gentle curves
Aní making her moan
In the dark."
You captured the mood of the smoky bar scene of yesteryear very well!

Maxx .02/24/06
most excellent ... you painted a great mood and stayed with it all the way trough. very strong!
Lynda Lee Schab 02/25/06
Back to the challenge with a bang, I see! Awesome work as always, David. Creative, powerful, bold... kept me hanging on every word. Superb!
T. F. Chezum02/26/06
Wow ... Incredible! Very powerful.
Tammy Johnson03/02/06
This definately transported me back in time and I could "hear" the blues the whole way through! Your word smithing did the trick intended!