by Thomas Lux
Whatever is too stupid to say can be sung.
The human voice can sing a vowel to break your heart. It trills a string of banal words, but your blood jumps, regardless. You don’t care about the words but only how they’re sung and the music behind-the brass, the drums. Oh the primal, necessary drums behind the words so dumb! That power, the bang and the boom and again the bang we cannot, need not, live without, nor without other means to make sweet noise, the guitar or violin, the things that sing the plaintive, joyful sounds. Which is why I like songs best when I can’t hear the words, or, better still, when there are no words at all.
“Regarding (Most) Songs” by Thomas Lux from The Street of Clocks. © Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001.
Thomas Lux is an American poet that holds the Margaret T. and Henry C. Bourne, Jr. Chair in Poetry at the Georgia Institute of Technology and runs Georgia Tech’s “Poetry at Tech” program.
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by Thomas Lux
The high-tension spires spike the sky
beneath which boys bend
to pick from prickly vines
the deep-sopped fruit, the rind’s green
a green sunk
in green. They part the plants’ leaves,
reach into the nest,
and pull out mother, father, fat Uncle Phil.
The smaller yellow-green children stay,
for now. The fruit goes
in baskets by the side of the row,
every thirty feet or so. By these bushels
the boys get paid, in cash,
at day’s end, this summer
of the last days of the empire
that will become known as
the past, adios, then,
the ragged-edged beautiful blink.
“Cucumber Fields Crossed by High Tension Wires” by Thomas Lux from The Street of Clocks. © Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001. Reprinted with permission.
Thomas Lux is an American poet that holds the Margaret T. and Henry C. Bourne, Jr. Chair in Poetry at the Georgia Institute of Technology and runs Georgia Tech’s “Poetry at Tech” program. Wikipedia