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January 1 Analysis

Author: poem of David Lehman Type: poem Views: 8

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Some people confuse inspiration with lightning

not me I know it comes from the lungs and air

you breathe it in you breathe it out it circulates

it's the breath of my being the wind across the face

of the waters yes but it's also something that comes

at my command like a turkey club sandwich

with a cup of split pea soup or like tones

from Benny Goodman's clarinet my clarinet

the language that never fails to respond

some people think you need to be pure of heart

not true it comes to the pure and impure alike

the patient and impatient the lovers the onanists

and the virgins you just need to be able to listen

and talk at the same time and you'll hear it like

the long-delayed revelation at the end of the novel

which turns out to be something simple a traumatic

moment that fascinated us more when it was only

a fragment an old song a strange noise a mistake

of hearing a phone that wouldn't stop ringing


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