MN Reads: “Alphabet Jazz” by Paul Metsa
Alphabet Jazz by Paul Metsa is a compilation of poetry, lyrics, and prose capturing over 40 years of the Minnesota musician’s career and life. “I’ve been writing pretty much all the time since I was a kid,” says Metsa. “I’ve got lyrics on an old electric bill, I don’t even want to tell you how many soiled bar napkins I have lyrics written on.”
Among the prose are several “tributes” to close friends of Metsa. Some are reflections that were prompted by a loved-one’s passing while others were obituaries used in press. Either way, the tributes read like heartfelt eulogies. “I found friendship and inspiration in every corner of town,” says Metsa of the relationships that he cultivated through life, particularly while living in Minneapolis. “These people are people that I loved.”
Accompanying the lyrics is a QR code to access the corresponding songs. Fourteen songs are freely available to those who purchase the book. For Metsa, lyrics are more than just words to a song. He aims for a certain visual aesthetic as well. “I’ve always liked them to look good on paper,” says Metsa of his lyrics.
Alphabet Jazz can be purchased at Zenith Bookstore and on-line.
Minnesota Reads is produced at The North 103.3 with funding provided in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.