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Car Radio Near Cleveland Near Dawn

Ambient whine and fuzz
                                    with a bass drum
and ride on top.
                       And then the crunching sound
of plainsong synthesized to techno hum.
And then that voice unbound.

And even through melancholic murk
(some tongue-pierced Hildegard von Bingen spent
from rasping
                    over percussion gone berserk)

her voice is elegant:
her torn soprano
                         curls and slips the words
above the tremor dragging them back down

as fields of pavement jitter past and birds
circle in slant sun.

Like this it comes. Before the singing fades
(and the band's name) a drizzle of heat stirs
in the chest.
                  An imprint of cascades
along the flood of years:
apart but constant
                           they come as scattered
patches where all around us bursts alive.

Right here now.
                        Maples. Flecked brick. Some tattered
sign for a blood drive.

Peter Campion

El Dorado
The University of Chicago Press

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