[I believe there is a song that is stranger than wind . . .]

By Karen Volkman b. 1967 Karen Volkman

    I believe there is a song that is stranger than wind, that sips the scald
from the telling, toss, toss. In the room I move in, a wrecked boy listened
to each sky’s erasing, for it was shrill winter, for it was blast and blur.
For it was farther from the native birds and the gray heath heather and
the uncaressable thighs of the one who shook in violet. Those who fly
farthest must always burn the nest. But the mind in its implacable spec-
trum dims to brown. Must you die on your back like a cheap engine, rust
and wrack? In the crevicing days, there are no words for prizing, be-
tween the lidless moon and the silver hands of the fountain. But if it is
space you must fail in, teach it din.

Karen Volkman, “[I believe there is a song that is stranger than wind . . .]” from Spar. Copyright © 2002 by Karen Volkman. Reprinted by permission of University of Iowa Press.

Source: Spar (University of Iowa Press, 2002)

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Poet Karen Volkman b. 1967

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Subjects Living, The Mind, Arts & Sciences, Music

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

 Karen  Volkman


Born in Miami, poet Karen Volkman earned a BA at New College and an MA at Syracuse University and completed a year of doctoral studies at the University of Houston. Her poetry collections include Crash’s Law (1996), selected for the National Poetry Series by Heather McHugh; Spar (2002), which won the James Laughlin Award and the Iowa Poetry Prize; and Nomina (2008). Her poetry has been featured in the anthologies The New . . .

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SUBJECT Living, The Mind, Arts & Sciences, Music

POET’S REGION U.S., Northwestern

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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