Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Frank Bidart


Bound,  hungry to pluck again from the thousand
technologies of ecstasy

boundlessness,  the world that at a drop of water
rises without boundaries,

I push the PLAY button: --

...Callas, Laurel & Hardy, Szigeti

you are alive again, -- 

the slow movement of K.218
once again no longer

bland, merely pretty, nearly
banal, as it is

in all but Szigeti’s hands

Therefore you and I and Mozart
must thank the Twentieth Century,  for

it made you pattern,  form
whose infinite

repeatability within matter
defies matter—

Malibran. Henry Irving. The young
Joachim. They are lost, a mountain of

newspaper clippings,  become words
not their own words. The art of the performer.

© 1998