Inside a Sound Inside

in a strange state

of mind

strained vocal chords and

coming down from something


if only it could be

described, the atmosphere

of an empty

subway station


(not at the Metro,

even though

what Pound associated with a log

might as well have been empty)


dripping pipe water,


turn-style machine sounds,

the sounds of machines haunting


resonating throughout

the platform where


becomes a feeling



the horse’s ghost

beats its corpse,



smoking under a sign that

says not to,

someone comes down,

so one stops and one starts


there was a time

in the mind,

when hell was passed through,

and it was here

6 replies on “Inside a Sound Inside”

That tension between abstract and concrete seems to owe itself in part to poetry’s struggle to approach the particularity of any experience of things. To use words, clumsy blanket-concepts to do so. For that matter it’s hard to form paradigm-shifting snapshots with that material.

Even today thought-out poetry is hard finding. Good thing I came across your blog.

If you ever want me to reword my feedback in third person let me know.

This is exactly the kind of reassurance I need because what you describe is what I try to do most of the time. Association between concrete and abstract is the object of poetry, or translating subjective thoughts, tone, mood, or color as you put it into an experience that others can relate to and understand.
I’ve realized that there has to be a middle ground between pure abstraction/ideas and physical descriptions, because the former is too obscure, and the latter too mundane.
I also think we’re on the same page about subjectivity, in that it is a limited subjectivity that is situated in a specific setting, in this case, a nearly empty subway station. In this regard, I agree with the Italian philosopher, Franco “Bifo” Berardi in saying that poetry- “(is) a hidden resource which enables us to shift from one paradigm to another.”
Thanks for never failing in leaving engaging replies, I may have to quote your feedback in the future!

This captures to me the concreteness of experience which eludes conceptualization [and therefore direct articulation]. It captures the personal-ness of experience which language necessarily cannot communicate. This is my favorite poem of yours.

I think your long practice with obscure abstraction–which as I take it is condensing thoughts/experiences into relationships between different things–has given you a hand in painting pictures in subjectively rich colors [though I tend (more literally) to think of your poems in muted colors]. I noticed this in “Here and Now” and again in “Inside a Sound Inside”.

Yes, I’m glad you read it, I intended to email it to you actually because I thought you’d like it. It’s the best I’ve done for quite some time.

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