Blog / Poetry in the grooves



By Wendy

Mary Collins, a poet based in Boston, visited “The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl” last week at the ICA/Boston. Right away, the art reminded her of a poem she’d written.

“I have to admit that I had written it before I saw the show,” she told us, by email. “When I took the poem to workshop a couple years ago, some people questioned what the birds were doing in the poem, but when I saw Jeroen Diepenmaat’s artworks, I said to myself, ‘That is what the birds are doing in the poem!’ ”
Mary agreed to share her poem:

sound came

obsidian black

from the disks

with whirligig grooves

lights low

diamond-sparked electricity crackled

guitar riffs

mellow flat sevens

descended in passages

down the notches

to lazy hazy

lovemaking sounddreams

embryonic sixteenth notes slipped from

phonograph kisses


spinning stripes on the carnival tents

of vinyl lovefests

cracked    broken

the records

dot the dump

cardinals chipa chipa chip chip

sparrows twitter wit

bluejays  scrrrrrritch

old age


all alone

predeceased by

that dark that glowed red hot

with the wild beats

of three-plus decades

IMAGE: Jeroen Diepenmaat, “Pour des dents d’un blanc éclatant et saines,” 2005. Record players, vinyl records, stuffed birds, sound. Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

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