Solo R&B Vocal Underground

By W. S. Di Piero b. 1945
It seems to head from its last stop too fast,
my transbay train’s strungout hoo, deep
inside the tunnel, and starts to bleed
into the baritone wail of that guy
at platform’s end, a sort of lullaby
rubbed against the wall then caught in a squall
of wind darkening toward us, his whippy voice
skinning its tired song off the tiled dome:
he’s determined, the silky lyric says,
to be independently blue, while we all
wait to be chuted to car lot or home,
closer to love, or farther, and sooner to loss,
our bashful shoes and arms like lives crossed,
every plural presence now some thing alone,
thanks to our singer-man. We wait for the train,
patient with hope, a hope that’s like complaint.

Source: Poetry (June 2006).

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2006 issue of Poetry magazine

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June 2006
 W. S. Di Piero

Biography

W.S. Di Piero was born in 1945 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and earned degrees from St. Joseph’s College and San Francisco State College. A poet, essayist, art critic, and translator, Di Piero has taught at institutions such as Northwestern University, Louisiana State University, and Stanford, where he is professor emeritus of English and on faculty in the prestigious Stegner Poetry Workshop. Elected to the American Academy of . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Music, Cities & Urban Life, Love, Social Commentaries, Activities, Travels & Journeys, Arts & Sciences, Relationships, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Consonance, Mixed

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