The New Young American Poets: An Anthology

By Kevin Prufer | Go to book overview

Reginald Shepherd

The Difficult Music

I started to write a song about love, then I decided, No.
I've been trying to write about violence
for so long. (You were my mother; I love you more
dead. Not a day goes by when I'm not turning someone
into you.) A week of traffic jams and fog
filtered through glass, the country crumbling
in my sleep; old men in plaid jackets on the corner
drinking quart bottles of Old Milwaukee; the color black
again and again.

My first summer in Boston
a bum glanced up from tapping at the pavement with a hammer
to whisper Nigger, laughing, when I walked by.
I'd passed the age of consent, I suppose;
my body was never clean again. In Buffalo a billboard
said, "In a dream you saw a way to survive and woke up
happy," justice talking to the sidewalk on Main Street;
I thought it was talking to me, but it was just
art. (I've wronged too many mornings hallucinating
your voice, too drunk with sleep to understand
the words.)

Some afternoons
I can see through a history of heart attacks in two-room
tenement apartments, writing your silted name
on snow with which the lake effect shrouds
a half-abandoned rust belt city. (I've compared you
to snow's unlikely predicates, the moon's
faceless occupation. Some drift
always takes your place.) I was just
scribbling again. Take it from me, my stereo claims, some day
we'll all be free.
If anyone should ever write that song.
The finely sifted light falls down.

-160-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The New Young American Poets: An Anthology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • A Foreword Looking Backwards xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Sherman Alekie 1
  • Talvikki Ansel 4
  • Rick Barot 10
  • Paul Beatty 15
  • Erin Belieu 21
  • Rafael Campo 27
  • Nick Cabó 32
  • Joshua Clover 38
  • Nicole Cooley 41
  • Denise Duhamel 46
  • Thomas Savers Ellis 52
  • Suzanne Gardinier 60
  • James Harms 66
  • Allison Joseph 72
  • Julia Kasdorf 78
  • Joy Katz 83
  • Timothy Liu 88
  • Khaled Mattawa 93
  • Jeffrey Mcdaniel 99
  • Campbell Mcgrath 105
  • Heidilynn Nilsson 112
  • Rick Noguchi 117
  • Barbara J. Orton 124
  • Alan Michael Parker 129
  • D. A. Powell 137
  • Claudia Rankine 143
  • Matthew Rohrer 146
  • Ruth L. Schwartz 149
  • Angela Shaw 154
  • Reginald Shepherd 160
  • Larissa Szporluk 164
  • Ann Townsend 168
  • Natasha Trethewey 173
  • Karen Volkman 177
  • Rachel Wetzsteon 182
  • Greg Williamson 188
  • Max Winter 194
  • Sam Witt 198
  • Mark Wunderlich 204
  • Kevin Young 209
  • Acknowledgments 217
  • Contributors 223
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 243

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.