Summer 2010 • Vol. XXXII No. 3 Poetry |

On Listening

Under the sound of the boiler---what? A radio, wind in the chimney, voices from next door? My ear strains past them, catching the pitched hum of the pump, unstoppable as grammar. The cochlea twitches, its tympanum flexes--- but nothing resolves itself in form, satiety of hints              and fragments: listening remains a kind of question, the ear a question-mark. Its desire for pattern hints at loneliness. Of course, I want the tutti's wide-flung arms, the mountain-conquering cadenza: their rush of emotion welcoming me to the bright crowd in the concert hall. And yet, this restlessness--- as if only the night outside, its stars and standing water, could bring everything home, clear as a bell: every note.

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The Unlucky May

By Fiona Sampson

Under the sound of the boiler---what? A radio, wind in the chimney, voices from next door? My ear strains past them, catching the pitched hum of the pump, unstoppable as […]

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