Tide Chart

by John Stupp


Even on
a peaceful day
the ocean  
is pushing my
into marsh grass
and oyster beds
or out to the jetty
it’s unnerving
like the propulsion
of jazz rhythm
the chords
coming fast
on Confirmation 
or Donna Lee—
back then
I had trouble
getting myself anchored
and lined up properly on the guitar—
I just wanted to throw a line
in the water
behind the rising
and falling horns



John Stupp is the author of the 2007 Main Street Rag chapbook The Blue Pacific and the 2015 full-length collection Advice from the Bed of a Friend (also by Main Street Rag). He has lived and worked in various states as a jazz musician, university instructor, taxi driver, radio news writer, waiter, auto factory laborer and paralegal.