Iowa Writes

The Quintet

I am sitting in my favorite noon-time haunt, a bar with the bright light of day outside, nicely dark and empty within.  It is always this way at this time of day.  A great time for a soft drink, a laptop and no pen.  There is no noise, save the nicely volumed 40s jazz overhead, that quintessentially iconic Louis Armstrong with his funny lips, magnificent playing and weirdly stupid singing voice.  I might have the name of the decade wrong.

My body, however, is not quiet.  It is screaming, like the booming bass and awful rappish nonsense that intrudes at night when the place is filled with college kids.  The knee (the phony one) hurts, the spine is all aroar and the neck muscles seem to be involved in some kind of Hatfield and McCoy rag.  Billy has tried to help, but she doesn't stick around long enough -- typical.  A nicely mellow tenor sax has tried to play nurse by not singing, Benny or Pete too.  But it is Charlie and Ella that seem to be doing the trick.  Nice.


I tried crossing my legs.

Happy National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month! Celebrate the importance of poetry with us by reading work by Iowa-identified poets!

Learn more about National Poetry Month here.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting


John Langfeld is a retired musician and arts educator who believes that, in the forest and on top of desks, digits make noise.  His poetry has been called epigrammatic, a term joined at the hip with "aphoristic" and "apothegmatic."  He prefers the moniker, "brevitist."  It is easier on the tongue.  John was born in Spirit Lake, Iowa, and currently lives in Westchester, Illinois.

This page was first displayed
on April 08, 2016

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