Plain American Language

I cut a sliver/of WC William's finger
and placed it inside/my philosophy...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Voices, #39

I just heard a recording on a website:
Kenneth Koch, “One Train May Hide Another.”
The beauty of his voice --
high, consistent,
pensive or in a half-lament --
just kept going and did not want to stop:
beautiful, reckless. But it's ok.

It’s when a voice becomes nervous
purely out of its own responsibility to become nervous
like John Berryman does on his recording
of the first “Dream Song,”

that you twitch too
with every stutter and pause:

Like you in a train, nervous,
you want to get off
but refuse out of stubbornness
even though things like shanty houses shock you
and swamps with trees like
burnt bone shock you
and it doesn't stop
doesn’t want to stop
and you twitch nervously, beautifully.
But it’s ok.

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