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The City of Tacoma and Puget Sound Poetry Presents

The Distinguished Writer Series

November 10, 2017  7:00 p.m.

Kings Bookstore, 218 St. Helens, Tacoma WA

Featured Reader: James Rodgers

James Rodgers has been writing poetry since college, and he's starting to not suck at it (at least not as badly.)  James is a member of Striped Water Poets out of Auburn, WA, and has poems published in lots of publications you haven't heard of, and a few you have.  He has written three self-published chapbooks, has a full-length book coming out in 2018 from Moonpath Press, and provided the photography for Cindy Hutchings book, "Tree Talk" which was released last year.

Almost Jazz

On this busy street,

there’s music,

a dark, sweet melody,

the nine to fivers

moving en masse,

leather soles

and high heel shoes

tip-tapping the concrete,

creating the beat,

a strong, persistent rhythm,

with bass harmony

provided by the crunch

of tires on blacktop,

white walls,


deep, deep treads,

road crooning.

Riding atop

this musical bed

is the emphatic chirping

of baby birds

in the trees,

crying out

to their parents

for something,


some wriggly thing,

to fill the hollow.

Or there’s the occasional

honk and wonk

of taxi drivers,

and impatient others,

not wanting to wait,

their windows up,

talk radio


about our president,

and the sorry state

of our baseball team,

all of these

a single instrument

in this street orchestra,

yet not a one

able to take a moment,

open their ears,

their minds,

their hearts,

and hear the song


between the high rises.

James Rodgers 08/11/16

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