A Poem for Record Players

By John Wieners 1934–2002 John Wieners
The scene changes
 
Five hours later and
I come into a room
where a clock ticks.
I find a pillow to
muffle the sounds I make.
I am engaged in taking away
from God his sound.
The pigeons somewhere
above me, the cough
a man makes down the hall,
the flap of wings
below me, the squeak
of sparrows in the alley.
The scratches I itch
on my scalp, the landing
of birds under the bay
window out my window.
All dull details
I can only describe to you,
but which are here and
I hear and shall never
give up again, shall carry
with me over the streets
of this seacoast city,
forever; oh clack your
metal wings, god, you are
mine now in the morning.
I have you by the ears
in the exhaust pipes of
a thousand cars gunning
their motors turning over
all over town.
 
6.15.58

John Wieners, "A Poem for Record Players" from Selected poems, 1958-1984, published by Black Sparrow Books. Copyright © 1986 by John Wieners.  Reprinted by permission of the John Wieners Literary Trust.

Source: Selected poems, 1958-1984 (Black Sparrow Books, 1986)

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Poet John Wieners 1934–2002

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Black Mountain

Subjects Living, The Mind, Activities, Indoor Activities, Arts & Sciences, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life

Biography

Born in Boston, poet John Wieners received a BA from Boston College and studied at Black Mountain College with Robert Creeley, Charles Olson, and Robert Duncan. He later followed Olson, his mentor, to SUNY Buffalo. A Beat poet and member of the San Francisco Renaissance, Wieners was also an antiwar and gay rights activist. His poetry combines candid accounts of sexual and drug-related experimentation with jazz-influenced . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, The Mind, Activities, Indoor Activities, Arts & Sciences, Social Commentaries, Cities & Urban Life

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Black Mountain

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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