With A Song

Christina Pugh

There’s something about music: the wish to
be in the dark. Like I don’t know what person
this voice must belong to. At times I love
a secret, what sheers away from intellect.
Intrepid horn of birdsong when you won’t
see or know the bird. Or sometimes
I’m riding in the car on I-80, dipping
my eyes into the glamour of Ohio, its red
barns or white barns severally unpainted
by tactile fingers of winter weather.
White barns with green roofs. Sky-blue
with white roofs. Wait, isn’t sky-blue brighter
than any sky you really see? Canned sky,
you might reply, hyperbole of color. Platonist
Crayola blue. Would anyone trade a teal
feather for a trill? The highway will line
with mud and snow stripes along a fence,
then apple orchards spider in the ice.
A long stand of pines before the strip mall.
And still from the radio, an alto atremble:
I love not knowing who it belongs to.

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Christina Pugh is professor of English in the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and consulting editor for Poetry. Her fourth book, Perception, was named one of the top poetry books of 2017 by the Chicago Review of Books, and she has been awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in poetry and the Poetry Society of America’s Lucille Medwick Memorial Award for her work. Pugh’s poems have appeared widely in such outlets as the Atlantic, Poetry, the Kenyon Review, and Colorado Review.

Amherst, Massachusetts

"Pugh wants to gather up and sift through all she can manage just a little ways into the twenty-first century. It's a mammoth job and she knows it, she treats it with delicate respect and a whole lot of thoughtful arrangement. Nothing is only one thing, anything can be everything. Stardust Media makes for a wild ride and a good one."
—Dara Wier, Juniper Prize for Poetry judge and author of You Good Thing

"Christina Pugh's Stardust Media goes right to the heart of how we live now: What particular human qualities does our technological civilization enliven or deaden inside us? What really astonishes and fortifies the reader are the endlessly inventive ways the poet has found to figure and refigure her own restless vision. Quiet virtuosity, complexly registered thinking-as-feeling—these are her signature qualities as a poet, as original as she is intelligent."
—Tom Sleigh, author of House of Fact, House of Ruin: Poems

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