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September's Selections:


Music can have a profound impact on us. It brings back feelings we had for lost loves or memories of childhood. Music touches something in our soul and for some this must be expressed as writing. This month's lit section is dedicated to music. The first two pieces (Universal Rhythmistics and Soundtrack for a Detroit Block Party) were written during the Woodbridge Summerfest last month. The third piece (Olga) has a rhythm all its own. Universal Rhythmistics was also published in this month's THE RECORD - Detroit's Music Journal. On that note, we are pleased to announce that as of this month we are teaming up with the good folks over at THE RECORD to bring regular music features to the online pages of Check out what they have to say over in the music section, and look for this premier music magazine on stands everywhere. – Eric Novack, Editor.


Universal Rhythmistics

by Aylia Norfleet

bass riffs engulf my soul, slow bump and beating
the mellow sax, tones and keys - E flat
chromatics and minor chords
dance like no one is watching, feel cause the snare
words only heard of - vocal chords
oh so beautiful vocal chords, as beautiful as
chords being played on an old guitar on
an abandoned Chicago street corner surrounded by the night life
play loud and enjoy is to make the walls shake
on the street, make the pebbles jump and rumble
whoops - who bumped into the record player?
play that funky music, express your ability to unwind
my most prized possession? My keyboard of course!
rock out, pop until you can't lock anymore
where are the strings at for your Adidas?
Puma track jackets and Kangol caps
Appreciated around the earth, made by many
loved by all, feel the beat
the beating of your heart and the bass...

Soundtrack for a Detroit Block Party

By M. Mullins


The bass kicks heavy as a child
loses a balloon to the sky crossed
by tenuous, drifting clouds.
Guitars crack their whipsaw
chain tones into the asphalt
– the burned-out husks of ruined
buildings groan with melody that
aches the teeth of thin
Lumber to its bones.

We're here, all ears, in this
Detroit Street: People drifting
to the tune of a humid afternoon
following the music's siren call
the languid, liquid horn that knows
the spaces between then and now
that electrify the sound of what will
be as each note takes us on
to sing of new flowers sprung
from ashes.


by Elif Wisecup

Don't say murder capital.
She'll have your head.

She sings the song of Detroit,
loudly and out of tune.

Illuminata Nights!
Small Plates!
Pure Detroit!

Of the group of us,
friends from U of M and some add-ons,
many of us love the D.
The 313. The —
oh, who am I kidding?
I sound like an idiot.
I grew up in Southfield.
But we all like Detroit.

She's different.
She loves the city with gusto,
with the type of passion usually reserved for
other things.

And the cynics say, wait.
Wait until she has children, wait until she knows better.
She'll at least move to Grosse Pointe. Hmph!

She says, let's go to Eastern Market,
I want you to meet someone,
I want to buy some cheese.
I want to pick up some flowers for the party.

She says, want to come to our place to watch the fireworks?
There's parking on the street, and we can walk to Greektown afterwards.

She says, did you know there are 174 parks in the city of Detroit?

Let the history buffs talk about Detroit artillery winning WWII,
Let the music buffs talk about Motown and Aretha
(the young ones can say, Eminem. White Stripes. Kid Rock.)
Let the car people talk about torque and Tin Lizzies,
the Big Three, and the creation of a new middle class.
Let them cry about Tiger Stadium (is it just going to rot there?).
Let them mourn poor old Fort Wayne (no one cares about old veterans).
Let them, let them, let them.
Everybody has an opinion.

Meanwhile, there she is in Mexicantown.
There she is, skating at Campus Martius.
There she is, at an opening at Izzy's.
There she is.

Sing with her, sing!
Stand up and tell 'em you're from...

Elif Wisecup is a writer based in Birmingham, MI. You can read her poetry online at

© 2002