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Loud Music Analysis

Author: Poetry of Stephen Dobyns Type: Poetry Views: 292

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Cemetery Nights1988My stepdaughter and I circle round and round.

You see, I like the music loud, the speakers

throbbing, jam-packing the room with sound whether

Bach or rock and roll, the volume cranked up so

each bass notes is like a hand smacking the gut.

But my stepdaughter disagrees. She is four

and likes the music decorous, pitched below

her own voice-that tenuous projection of self.

With music blasting, she feels she disappears,

is lost within the blare, which in fact I like.

But at four what she wants is self-location

and uses her voice as a porpoise usesits sonar: to find herself in all this space.

If she had a sort of box with a peephole

and looked inside, what she'd like to see would be

herself standing there in her red pants, jacket,

yellow plastic lunch box: a proper subject

for serious study. But me, if I raised

the same box to my eye, I would wish to find

the ocean on one of those days when wind

and thick cloud make the water gray and restless

as if some creature brooded underneath,

a rocky coast with a road along the shore

where someone like me was walking and has gone.

Loud music does this, it wipes out the ego,

leaving turbulent water and winding road,

a landscape stripped of people and language-

how clear the air becomes, how sharp the colors.


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