COMPOSITION FOR DISTANT SOUND
KEN L. WALKER
COMPOSITION FOR DISTANT SOUND
All the time talking atop the roof—serum
of plums turned over—how any warded space
centrifugal to urban pretends a
connective tissue of
group and isolation,
rationale as hearing. Came up here to call
friends in Oakland
as much as possible, late
Fernet desserts there.
that intentionally moves a star in
Anything else is additional.
Came up here
to form a ballet of air
with watering rosemary
and lavender leaves, as
does the breezes
of Rose, Selma, Venice,
Verma, cities of nothing
as palimpsests of floods.
These meanings make a map,
remain quiet, anticipate the construction
of a construction machine—where machine
Planes lower into the region. Planes
rise out of the region. Planes plead sky
to open. Planes, too, feign isolation. Planes
need avoidance. Planes, uniquely surgical
to the combination
of grounded space and molecular moments
as we understand it to be
simultaneously melting / freezing.
Drowning out further thinking,
a little over a half mile away, through the summer
sycamores, eastern red buds, conquering whispers, combinatory sound
leaves residue throughout sleep patterns—occasional annoying echoes
harmonize with echoing occasion.
A midnight horn focuses above trees, below planes
All noise dissipates for a second and the clarity
of live instrument rises through all recording.
Park’s drum circle begins.
Through the layers, foundation. Through the foundation, splinters lay on lack of wings.
But are we not collective flight?
And, the sirens—how they drown
out layers of living, see blurs break reflection
from DELI at the corner.
This did not seem desperation; instead, glimmered, glimmered
until the competition
of the sirens dimmed automatically.
On the phone, California
says, “I feel desperate. Going to leave him,
his dissociation is on full tilt, you don’t
See a sparrow, dream it hummingbird.
As in, hummingbird lugs
fourteen hundred pound adjustable composition. As in, why
would a rate risk anything? And how is it
that a measurement risks a tacit confrontation with
As in, I call, friend answers—frequencies
where decimals travel between modulations; where
I am both between and above
the postcards of park music.
Friend says, oh, what is it,
Und willst du nicht mein Bruder sein,
So schlag’ ich Dir den Schädel ein—
in essence, to let it be or leave
so many times
calendars scar grayed
Need to see California break its golden blood in person.
From the airport, send a message
At the sky club, what
do you think—
chicken soup or Town Branch?
Read your reply with stature of heat
on wheel on ground:
On the rocks.
Ken L. Walker lives in Louisville, Kentucky after earning an MFA from Brooklyn College (CUNY). He is the author of Twenty Glasses of Water (Diez, 2014), Antworten (Greying Ghost, 2017), and has work in the anthologies Oil & Water (Typecast, 2010) and Devouring the Green (Jaded Ibis, 2015) as well as in Boston Review, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Brooklyn Rail, Seattle Review, Atlas Review, Lumberyard, and Tammy.