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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 12: March 2022
Poem: 115 words
By Judith Terzi


Pasadena, California (October 2021)
A metal brace holds up the oak, its giant 
limbs sheltering from Santa Ana heat. 
Music soaks every niche of this backyard 
where a peacock flaunts a metal fan. Masks off 
for wine and “Blue Bolero,” song seeping 
deep inside us, swells of live emotion 
anything but blue. The bassist—tucked 
into a crook of trunk—hair aflow, she laughs, 
eyes the drummer, the guitars. Her fingers stretch 
with gusto for this afternoon rapture. Lanterns 
jive green above us, a terra cotta sun looks on 
from a thick oak arm. The band infuses, 
nurses us back from solitude. Fan palms beyond 
seem to grow from the roof of this bungalow. 




1. Poem above refers to the song Blue Bolero as arranged and performed by Jim Stubblefield with the band Incendio, from their CD Summoning the Muse (2019).

2. See also this live performance of Blue Bolero by its composer Abdullah Ibrahim, accompanied by the Ekaya Ensemble, during Festival JazzAldia 2011; song is from the album African Magic (2002).

Judith Terzi
Issue 12, March 2022

is the author of Museum of Rearranged Objects (Kelsay Books), as well as five chapbooks, including If You Spot Your Brother Floating By and Casbah (Kattywompus Press). Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. A poem, “Ode to Malala Yousafzai,” was included on a “Heroines” episode of BBC Radio 3: Words and Music. She taught French for many years in Pasadena, California, as well as English at California State University, Los Angeles, and in Algiers, Algeria. Her new chapbook, Now, Somehow, will appear in 2022.

More about the author’s books available at her website:

See also poems online, and a list of awards.

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