I spent three hours today setting up
my recorder so that I could make MP3s of
a new series of poems, and thereby
turn up the thermostat in wordcurrents
enough to shake up the various
hibernating fauna that live here
in this garden of earthly delight.
It took forever to start because
the first six test runs of “anatomy”
sounded as if I was reading it
through a long hose while
sipping something interesting.
The “something interesting”
didn’t bother me, but the long hose
set me to a frenzy of settings adjustments,
experimentation, and trying to figure out
how I fixed it last time. I seem to do that
a lot: forgetting how I did something before.
This time, I fixed a whole new way that makes
me sound as if I were reading through
a clown’s underwear.
It’s the nuances, you see: it’s something
we poets go after a lot, salting in the nuances
and trying to shade the text with HB crosshatching
to give it innuendo and subtlety, possibly irony and
chocolate sauce that I should have been able to imply
in the text, without hitting the reader on the head.
So now I’m reading the text
into a microphone. It is not just my
dumb voice, but also my pauses,
inflections, breathing— turning up
the thermostat, even if this is the winter solstice—
it’s enough to make a snail overheat.
But it’s still fun, or I wouldn’t do it.