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listen to poetry

For last year’s National Poetry Month I posted a poem every week for the month of April. This year I am doing things a little differently. I will post a few poems for you to listen to.

At one time or another you have heard an author—poet or otherwise—read aloud something you have already read. Just like hearing a band perform your favorite song live, there are certain inflections that are different and unpredictable. The pace you anticipated could be completely different from what the author intended.

The Poetry Foundation has posted recordings of famous poems read by other famous authors. Now, the Poetry Foundation is inviting everyone to record and post poems for National Poetry Month. (Like so many things I’ve been doing since I got my smartphone a few months ago, I recorded everything with my iPhone!)

LISTEN: I am including the text below and you may stream a recording of me reading it here.

The Calling

a phone rings in some room
someone wants to speak to you
but there’s a stillness in the house you want
to get back to
the dry sink
the cold oven
the quiet bird cage
you want to finish the day
by steeping Earl Grey
under fast clouds
pull linens off the line
like a photographer in a dark room
slip each print down
and wrap yourself in its memory
you don’t know who’s calling
and you believe if they knew you
they would have called someone else
it’s not like you know where the phone is anyway
you could follow its rings
deep into some corner of your house
you could count the rings as they pass
unlike geese flying south
you know your migration to the
phone has no return
why spoil the mystery?
they’ve been calling for years
and haven’t given up
will it happen this time?
like scratching prizes off a sidewalk lotto ticket
before seeing if you won
you don’t want to know yet
the phone keeps ringing