North Carolina Poetry Society   —   Zoe Kincaid Brockman Book Award

Passacaglia and Blues

Not even Bach can comfort me tonight.
Play me something lowdown, hot and sweet—
something slow and sobbing with a beat
that pulses, throbbing, through the floor.
Play me something that I never heard before.
Lord, this Lethe lapping at my feet
is black molasses. Bach is beautiful
(so goddam neat, you know)
but blues is better when love's got the blight.

Terra Amata, St. Andrews Press, 1979, copyright
© by Kathryn Bright Gurkin. Used with the poet's permission.

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