from the vault: jerry figi

Posted on Fri, Nov 30, 2018

december Vol. 6 — 1964

Eve of November

The night is full of sharp things:
tiny teeth,
and iron fence-spikes
spearing wind.
Thorn trees scratch at the sky,
and hooves of a dark rider
bite blood from the ground.

Back-Yard Lobo

A dark dry wolf hangs his voice
on the moon,
sniffing stars and pinesol,
then goes on,
rubbing bellies with the earth,
where weeds are wet with sperm
and blood confounds the caterpillar,
where hips devour dandelions.
Back-yard lobo,
shaggy shadow of the city,
chummy with garbage cans,
stalker of iron deer.

Jerry (J. B., aka Jamil) Figi (1937-1999) was a Chicago-based writer, poet, and jazz critic. In an obituary published in 1999, John Litweiler wrote, “He was not a prolific writer, but he certainly was an influential one. His work first began appearing in small magazines in the early 1960s. He also wrote for John and Leni Sinclair’s short-lived magazine called Change, which was devoted to the new jazz of the mid-’60s.” Figi also wrote a jazz column for Coda magazine and liner notes for record companies. In addition, he wrote for Downbeat and was a staff record reviewer. Figi would later serve as one of the directors for the Jazz Institute of Chicago, working on, amongst other things, the Chicago Jazz Festival.