Excerpt from John Koethe’s “E.H.” Read more or subscribe to our Poem-A-Day series.
Excerpt from Susan Howe’s “Debths.” Read more or subscribe to our Poem-A-Day series.
Excerpt from Michael Dickman’s “Canal.” Read more or subscribe to our Poem-A-Day series.
The two musicians pour forth their souls abroad
in such an ecstasy as to charm the audience
like none I’ve ever seen before, and when
they finish, they rise and hug each other,
and then the tabla player bends down
and touches the feet of the santoor player in an obvious gesture
of respect, but what does it mean? I don’t find out
until the next day at the Econolodge in Tifton, GA,
where I stop on my way home after the concert
and ask Mrs. Patel, the owner, if she has ever heard
of these two musicians or knows
anything about the tabla and the santoor and especially the latter,
which looks like the love child of a typewriter
and a hammered dulcimer only with a lot of extra wires
and tuning posts, and she doesn’t seem to understand
my questions, though when I ask her about one person touching
the other’s feet and then bend down
to show her, she lights up and says, “It means he thinks the other
is a god.