Karen Greenbaum-Maya

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Disco Jukebox Blues

Back when I believed in dance, in razzmatazz,
to dance was to live! and living was zigzagging
to the synchronicities of the jukebox,
boogying with the door of the refrigerator
for partner, dodging the macraméd fern pot, a cuspidor
for journals of record and old exam books (blue).

Some mornings, I danced through my ablu-
tions, dreaming a world of razzmatazz—
I’d hit all my marks on the beat.  Others, I’d cuss bad, or
weep a bit, zigzagging
from desk to refrigerator,
looking for wattitiz wattitiz on the jukebox.

It sounds corny as country on the jukebox,
but I did think love could come out of the blue
and make my life dance, like that ad:  refrigerator
meets the right cleanser, and--razzmatazz!
a disco ball of sparks zigzagging.
The party where I met him had no cuspidor.

In bed he brought me only to the cusp.
J’adore, I moaned, looking for the funk of the jukebox’s
single falling into place, not all this zigzagging
just short of l’heure bleue.
He felt bad, play-growled, “Next time, baby, I’ll razz your tazz,”
and I giggled like the bowl rattling on the refrigerator.

He was sweet, but dumb like a refrigerator.
Thought Cupid was derived from cuspidor.
Anyhow, my one night of razzmatazz
was a dumb idea too.  Later, I chewed kabobs
at the Greek place.  Damn, I was blue,
as I watched the off-kilter gyros zigzagging.

No, I was getting no buzz from zigzagging.
Time to use the Force and clean out the refrigerator,
get some new tunes for that horn I blew
(Liberated? sometimes I felt more like a cuspidor),
some songs you might not find on the jukebox,
hold out for the righteous berries, those razz of Tasmania.

Like a zigzagging drunk who’s clocked himself on the cuspidor,
time to chill out.  Plug in the refrigerator, toss the jukebox.
All that razzmatazz was just giving me the blues.



Karen Greenbaum-Maya is a clinical psychologist in Claremont, California.  She has been writing since she was nine, and started sending out her work a few years ago.  In another life, she was a German Lit major so that she could read poetry for credit.  She has placed poems and photographs in many publications, including Off the Coast, Umbrella, qarrtsiluni, Poemeleon, Lilliput Review, and Sow’s Ear Poetry Review.  She was nominated for the 2010 Pushcart Prize.  Her first chapbook, Eggs Satori, was selected as a finalist in Pudding House Press’s 2010 competition, and will be published in 2011.