Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Hot Summer Night (Jazz Songs for Helen Sung)

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Hot Summer Night (Jazz Songs for Helen Sung)

Article excerpt

1.

Hot Summer Night

Let's go downtown. It's a hot summer night.

Lovers are sitting in sidewalk cafés-

Breaking up, making up, hooking up, cooking up

Plans for tonight that leave them amazed.

Let's go downtown. It's a hot summer night.

Let's not stay home and get in a fight.

Let's eat spicy food in a dark little dive

And let our bodies know we're alive.

Summer has come. The young are on fire,

And every tattoo spells a word for desire.

They're strolling as naked as custom allows.

They never say later. They only say now.

Let's live in the flesh and not on a screen.

Let's dress like people who want to be seen.

Don't bring me home till the dawn's early light.

Let's not waste this hot summer night.

2.

Ballad: The Stars on Second Avenue

I'd say it was the stars

Reminded me of you.

But I can't see the stars

From Second Avenue.

The shimmer is just neon

Reflected in the rain

From the little corner deli

Where memory comes with pain.

I'd say it was the moon

That made me lose my head.

But I never saw the moon

In the window by our bed.

It was just a street lamp

Shining in the dark

Above the empty bench

In the empty park.

I'd say it was the wine

That eased my heavy soul. …

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