For A Song

After what happened at the London Live-Aid show, it was no surprise that Michael Jackson sold the rights to the entire American Jazz music catalogue. With the death toll sky-rocketing, liquidity would be essential to his defense and survival. No one could have imagined that his latest radical cosmetic surgery would be visually toxic. Everyone in the first thirty rows died in their seats. All in attendance suffered injury, how severe depending on their proximity to the stage. The full impact of the “Visually Fatal Event”, or VFE as it was now known, was thankfully filtered by television. Viewers around the world got headaches and nausea, but nothing worse. As a musician who grew up loving jazz, I found the whole situation sad, but I understood. The Korean investment group that made the final purchase was large and well funded. They retained the absolute best material. Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Bill Evans, and Charlie Parker’s work. Only the very best. What I found surprising was how quickly the Korean firm moved to sell the rest of this sprawling catalogue.

It was purchased with a very minimum of negotiations by a multi-national corporation specializing in salvage. Jazz fans around he world were outraged! There is no sentimentality at this level of global business, and the Fargo Asset Management Group
were know to be absolutely ruthless. Jazz was broken down into sale lots more or less by category and auctioned by Christie’s Ltd. online.

By this time American art and investment forces had rallied. The Smithsonian cherry-picked to fill in it’s Delta Blues collection. Texas oil money snapped up New Orleans Jazz in it’s entirety. Out of nowhere Bjork bought all of the Ragtime – Dixieland. When asked about the purchase she explained, “it is the only music that truly speaks to the
very souls of the Icelandic peoples”.

That was it. The magic was gone. The musical dream was over. Things went downhill
from there. The Hip-hop populous burned scraps of old jazz in street corner trash cans for warmth. Punk thrashers and slashers ripped out chunks of jazz with their sharpened teeth all up and down Sunset Blvd. Country music took just enough for appearances to maintain their mournful nostalgic point of view. Musical “found objects” kept the downtown New York art scene just spinning! Moby tribute bands took the final scrapings
into their world of ambient electronic whispers.

The discarded very last lump found it’s way eventually by post to North Africa. In dance clubs and cafes it was gradually reborn. No longer hindered by pretension it could thrive. Beautiful African voices sang this new music in the most sensual of smooth lingering French. The music felt like a lovers touch. The beat as familiar and welcome as that of your own heart. Wild and exciting, dangerously pounding fast, or slow and confident, sexy and steady in it’s own rhythmic measure.
This new jazz then traveled north to Parisian clubs. The music found me there, or I found it. The details now unimportant. After so much time apart, jazz and I discovered we could love each other again. I cried tears of joy to find my intimate friend and musical confidant had returned to my life.

by – Doug Mathewson

The New Job

Everybody had photos in their cubicles, of loved ones, pets, and friends.
Having none of the above I cut out an old magazine picture of Courtney Love and put it
in a cheap plastic frame. She looked great in this smokey live concert shot.
Her hair whacked-out, lipstick badly smeared, cigarette upthrust like FDR,
and mayhem in her eyes. She had ripped the broken-strapped tacky sequin bra
far from one shoulder, slick with sweat her bare breast exposed, nipple defiant.
The department supervisor made his courtesy visit, saw the photo,and conversationally inquired , “So, ah… is that the Mrs.?”

by – Doug Mathewson

Coming Attractions

I was going to call this entry Smooch – Smooch Kiss-y-face, probably because of the moive title “Faster Pussy Cat, Kill – Kill”. But on consideration, I did not want to detract from what should be said. March 2008 will see my work appearing in The Boston Literary Magazine, Door Knobs and Body Paint, eMuse-zine, and Six Sentences. I wish to thank these editors as well as editors who have published me over the last few months. I especially am very grateful to people who are kind enough to find the time to give insightful, specific, well considered advice and criticism whether they publish me or not. Thank you to the following people and publications.

Robin: The Boston Literary Magazine.
Jen: Creative Soup.
Leila: Door Knobs & Body Paint.
Llewellyn: eMuse-zine.
and C.M.: Pen Pricks Microfiction.
Rob: Six Sentences.
and Shelly Rae: Tuesday Shorts. And most of all,
Gemma: The Museum of Rain

Sincerely, Doug Mathewson

Hazy About Hazels

So this guy was named Philbert or something, I said

That Filbert, what a nut! You exclaimed

Who’s Philbert? Your moron boy friend asked

No no, it’s just a joke! You said

Your idiot boyfriend didn’t believe you. I saw

He squirmed and simmered uncomfortably,

you mentioning another man. You enjoyed it, I shook my head

by – Doug Mathewson


Since they both grew up in Europe, speaking English was exotic and new.
What I found they had in common was a fascination with American idioms.
Their word choices were often awkward or odd. The Polish engineer was astonished at
the phrase “where were you when the shit hit the fan?” I explained to the
Czech graphic designer that I wrote a story about this for The Village Voice.
She exclaimed in response “What pluck!”

by – Doug Mathewson