The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

"Music is real--the rest is scenery." Fats Waller

Con Chapman

Con Chapman
Boston, Massachusetts, US of A
September 28
. . . is the author of over fifty books--some with paper!--available on and elsewhere.


You said you was goin’ outside for a smoke.
A half hour later I called up your folks.
They said you weren’t there and just laughed at your joke.
And you weren’t in bed when I next awoke.

I got in the car to drive around town.
I’d find you if I had to… Read full post »

JULY 23, 2014 8:16PM

Flip Phillips

By some verbal turn of a publicist
worthy of an Ellis Island clerk,
Joseph Edward Filipelli became Flip Phillips.
As coincidence would have it, I heard him
on a boat going out of Boston Harbor.
Sixty-five years old, blowing as cool as the
seabreeze off the Atlantic.


You were so good for an Italian… Read full post »

JULY 23, 2014 7:25PM

Walking My Lobster Back Home

On learning that the poet Gerard de Nerval had a pet lobster he walked on a leash.

Gee but it’s great after being out late–
Walking my lobster back home.
There’s little risk that she’ll turn into bisque,
Walking my lobster back home.

She grows quite bored of the maddening horde,
S… Read full post »

JULY 23, 2014 3:32PM

The Poetry Fixer

          A self-published poet who focused on homelessness in her work has resigned after only a week on the job as North Carolina’s poet laureate following criticism of the governor’s appointment process.

     &nRead full post »

JULY 22, 2014 9:58PM

I Fall in Love Too Fast

That’s my problem, he thought to himself as he turned off the music to his headphones. He had been listening to Chet Baker and in a moment his state of mind had turned from mellow moodiness to irritation. The romantic background that the sounds had provided on his morning walk to… Read full post »

JULY 22, 2014 8:39AM

To the Veterans of Boston Disco

The Donna Summer Memorial Roller Disco Tribute Party drew a far more diverse crowd than just veterans of the disco era.

                              &nRead full post »

JULY 21, 2014 8:40PM

The Baddest Cat on the Team

A star high school quarterback was persuaded to play football at Rice University by a handwritten letter its offensive coordinator wrote to his cat.

Sports Illustrated

“With these feet, I’m gonna need high-tops, like Johnny Unitas.”

Ho-hum. Another day, another Division I off… Read full post »

JULY 21, 2014 7:43PM

Bats at Twilight

The bats are out tonight,
I said. She looked up and there
they were, silhouetted against the dying light
to the west. Over our shoulders
to the east it was dark, but from where


we sat, we had an intimate view of the two,
engaged in some sort of courtship ritual
I surmised after a while;… Read full post »

JULY 20, 2014 9:05PM

The Men on the Moon

It was the summer of ’69, and men were preparing
to land on the moon, at the same time that
an event of far greater consequence was
about to occur; a declaration of troth
between two star-crossed lovers here on earth.

The girl was unknown, disreputable; the boy,
from a family that mattered,… Read full post »

JULY 19, 2014 4:50PM

Post Mortem/Petites Morts

I have things that I should do
but I will lie abed with you
in homage to our deaths last night

from which we woke long after light

had first shone underneath the shade
to ‘luminate the mess we made.


Like Lazarus, we are reborn,
this/… Read full post »

JULY 19, 2014 11:29AM

Hot Lips

The history of jazz includes many might-have-beens, but none so puzzling as that of Oran Thaddeus “Hot Lips” Page.

Hot Lips Page

He was recognized by the masters of the trumpet in his day as their peer. Roy Eldridge ranked Lips as “most underrated” in an interview, and… Read full post »

JULY 18, 2014 9:52PM

You Forgot To Be Beautiful

An evening of jazz, how pleasant one thinks,
then you hear a noise like a kitchen sink
being tossed out a window into a dumpster
or bombs bursting in air over Fort Sumter.
There’s a hint of three tomcats all tossed in a bag,
then shaken, not stirred as a loathsome gag.
You smile and applaud, but… Read full post »

WORCESTER, Mass.  This gritty city in central Massachusetts is the second-largest in New England, a fact that comes as a surprise to many both outside its boundaries and in.  “You coulda knocked me over with a feather when I heard dat,” says Butch Wyznorski, who lives in the tou… Read full post »

It’s family vacation time, and against their noble savage instincts, we’ve decided to inflict some high culture on the boys by taking them to the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs.

“Do we have to?” Scooter, the older and more forthright of the two at twelve asked&nd… Read full post »

Picnics on Staten Island Blamed for Ruin of Young Girls… Read full post »
JULY 17, 2014 9:09AM

Lizard Boy

The carnival was in town for the State Fair, and the boy Brad had gone out to the fairgrounds trying to find his first job, at the age of 12.

Every place he’d asked he’d been turned down; he didn’t understand, he’d see other boys and girls about his age wiping… Read full post »

JULY 17, 2014 8:21AM

Youth is Not Wasted on the Young

There once was a man of an uncertain age
Who felt his life slipping, that he’d turned a page,
So he dumped the Mrs. and gave her some dough,
And set off to find self, where’er it might gough.
He tried Grecian formula to blacken his locks,
Wore slim-fitting sweaters, bought… Read full post »

BOSTON. It is, to all appearances, an unlikely port of entry to an ancient culture: an unassuming sandwich shop with just a few tables for patrons who want to eat in since it depends heavily on bulk lunch deliveries to nearby offices. “Frankly, I was surprised,” says Dr. Philip… Read full post »

REGGIO EMILIA, Italy.  This industrial town in the north of Italy is getting a sprucing up in anticipation of a visit by Pope Francis I to celebrate the canonization of St. Luciana, a young girl who will be named the patron saint of bathroom breaks.

Luciana: “No, I don’t
Read full post »

There once was a man, whom to each woman fetching
Would extend an invite to come look at his etchings.
Once they were safely ensconced in his apartment
He’d make timid moves in the seduction department.
He’d look at them longingly, then sing off-key,
“There’s Danger in Your Eyes, C… Read full post »

JULY 15, 2014 8:05AM

Ask the Aesthetician!

After climbing to the top of the corporate ladder many women find themselves unfulfilled, silently asking themselves “Is this all there is? A seven-figure salary as a top international financial advisor helping billionaires shelter their wealth from greedy governments in Caribbean tax… Read full post »

Men wore clothes that were as colorful as the ladies’ garb.  One male fashion  plate in New York ordered a suit of “superfine scarlet plush and a vest of light  blue splash.”

               &nbsRead full post »

EAST BOSTON, Mass. Sol “Nosey” Niman has been playing the horses at this second-tier track in a working-class neighborhood of Boston for over half a century, and he says he’s never seen the place in worse shape. “All the old guys are buying the farm,” he says, shaking hi… Read full post »

The year was 1962. The place–a small town in Missouri so insignificant it billed itself as The Gateway to the Ozarks. Not the Ozark Mountains themselves, you understand, but if you wanted to get to them you had to go through us. Unless you were coming from the south, the east… Read full post »

It’s hot, I know,
and there are places you’d rather be;
the beach for one, same with me,
and with you I would go.

But we are stuck here, my dear;
me in the front and you in the back row
while before us drones the regional manager,
about moving product.

I see you check your… Read full post »