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Poetry Corner

Winter Jazz by Joseph Maviglia
Quarry Poetry Books
ISBN: 1-5502-221-7

Review by Ronnie R. Brown


It is not surprising that Joseph Maviglia, singer-songwriter and performance poet, has chosen a musical title for his third full length collection of poetry.  Using a colloquial style reminiscent of the young Leonard Cohen, Maviglia allows the reader to travel with him along dark, often dangerous, streets and hear, through his words and cadences, the sultry rhythms and music of his world.

 

An accomplished poet/musician Maviglia makes it seem easy, but the topics he tackles are far from everyday. As is the case with jazz itself, these poems tend to focus on the smoky, seamy sides of life, but the music of Maviglia's language plays with, and on, these themes. Like a sudden plaintive wail from an alto sax, startling lines such as "The moon's half eaten here tonight.. winter's crawling in the clouds waiting:' Or, speaking of siesta in a small Mexican town: "This town rolls over and plays/dead three hours a day: ' succinctly sets both the scene and the mood.

 

Indeed, Winter Jazz challenges the reader to accompany Maviglia as he wanders through places that might be best left unexplored. A far cry from staid, academic poetry, this work takes an in-your-face approach and will definitely appeal to those whose reading tastes tend towards the wild side.

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