Speculative Music: Poems

By Jeff Dolven

Jeff Dolven’s poems take the guise of fables, parables, allegories, jokes, riddles, and different frequent varieties. So, there's an preliminary convenience: I take into account this, the reader thinks, from the tales of early life . . . . yet wait, whatever is off. In each one poem, an uncanny conceit surprises the shape, a street paved with highwaymen, a faculty for disgrace, a kinfolk of chairs. Dolven makes those unusual wagers with the grace and edgy precision of a metaphysical poet, and there are moments once we may think ourselves to be someplace within the corporation of Donne or Spenser. Then we come across “The Invention: A Libretto for Speculative Music,” that's, well—surreal, and contours a decisively sleek, totally notional rating, sung by way of an inventor and his invention, which (who?) seems to be a 40s-type piano-perched chanteuse who (which?) one way or the other is familiar with the entire phrases to the track you by no means knew you had in you. The bold of this assortment isn't really in replaying the fractured polyphony of our second. Speculative Music offers us available lyrics that also have the ability to eavesdrop on our echoing interiors. those are poems that promise Frost’s “momentary remain opposed to confusion” and, whilst, galvanize a deep, head-shaking wonder.

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I'm making a song of whatever that can't be misplaced, that can not be replaced like your outfits or your voice (your voice that sinks through the years to a low and incredulous moan as you know); i'm making a song of whatever that can't be came across, because the querying metal first confessed in her mild now outlasted ministering hand who sought it in useless; i'm making a song of anything free on your blood the place it roves with out homecoming, by no means turns again, touring even if you're at relaxation: that wears you away just like the diamond tip of a phonograph needle monitoring the seams of your bones, scoring the fragile tissues, and making a song I am the splinter of wooden; i'm making a song the fact that your dermis attempts to conceal: that inside you're simply the wound that you just obtained as a toddler in your knees at the splintering ground, or someday ahead of. Hummingbird for those who hold your head nonetheless lengthy adequate, and point, a buzzing chook will come and stand within the air subsequent in your ear: and the chicken will dip his beak at nighttime, operating in sufferer, meticulous circles, until eventually your ear is completely fresh. The buzzing of a hummingbird is since it doesn’t be aware of the phrases, and neither, it can look, do you, even though now his workplaces are performed all sounds are infant transparent and willing and singular as diverse species. Here’s the object So I’m placing the needle down at the checklist, and here’s the thing—or I’m turning the dial until eventually the static dies, or deciding on up the telephone, hi? —and here’s the article— the tune hasn’t all started but, and nobody’s all started speaking, both, and here’s the thing—there’s nonetheless a there there within the crackling silence. listen? It’s like you’ve entered one other room with out leaving the room you’re in, and now you’re below the maestro’s sway who’s conserving everybody’s breath. Or it’s such as you pay attention for your self ultimately the planets spinning of their grooves, the radio hiss in their mild rounds, endless house in a phone sales space and here’s the item, the phone. you assert you’re coming? listen, pay attention! you are saying you’re leaving? There, there. I nonetheless can’t listen you—damn this factor— hi? hi? Am I nonetheless there? Humilitas You’ve obtained a major physique, bumble bee, an enormous physique and such little wings! And blimey, one of these bulky identify, “bumble,” like “stumble” or “grumble. ” Crumbs! You don’t flutter loads as you fumble, dog-paddle from petal to petal, hind-legs clotted with pollen sufficient to fill, if you’re fortunate, a wee tumbler, an ichor-thimble, earlier than your fable’s over. Caramba! I pay attention you mumble within the bell-bottom of a few lush victrola, shyly rehearsing a subtler quantity. I Taught Myself I taught myself to play the mess around as soon as, bowing correct on the bridge to starve the tone, with chalk for rosin, making puffs of white noise at the downbeat— noise just like the airborne dirt and dust that at last silted up the traditional parlor radio, approach within the attic, conserving its gut ranks of tubes dry because the drought years. I taught myself to sing by means of respiring that dirt deep in my lungs, the place it crackles now like static: candy to the unhappy women, the trick of making a song like in the past sounds now.

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