Michael Vander

Michael Vander Does is a JazzPoet from Columbus, Ohio. He has been published here and there. Favorites include Croton Review, Negative Capability, Istanbul Literary Review, Carbon Culture Review, and Tryst. He performs trombone and poetry with The JazzPoetry Ensemble. They have released three CDs. The JPE performs with avant-garde jazz greats like Kidd Jordan, D.D. Jackson, and Hamiet Bluiett. Michael’s poetry is informed by this. He has received awards from the likes of the Ohio Arts Council and Puffin Foundation West. He is active in the community presenting and promoting modern poetry, avant-garde jazz, and civil rights. www.makejazznotwar.org



On Considering the Case of Melania Trump


I have an unlimited supply of tears.

Hydration allows heavy production.

Do not ask me

to use them lightly.

Empathy limits my sympathy.

I cannot give to every beggar

every cause

every injured and broken person

even sometimes you.

I give my tears freely.

I try to withhold my pain

even when you ask

even when you long

to feel my pain

next to yours.

You must earn my pain

you must listen to it

you must want it

more than you want my love

more than you want to lie with me

more than you want my signature

on your petition.



Flytown Nose Blues

(after Rahsaan Roland Kirk)


my lips must kiss you equally

but my tongue chooses


or two

or three

and my fingers run



between you

flying out of Flytown

out of hastily constructed houses

out of my nose into the three-sided night

floating over the cap where Flytown was

 spreading Flytown Nose Blues like pixie dust

Flytown dust all over the world


same lips

kiss each reed the same

tongue seeks each differently

each caress unique

as the same breath flows