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I read a little Dylan Thomas last night. First time for a long time. “Under Milk Wood” is a true classic, but much of his other verse writing, I find a welter of words that quickly become too rich and dark for my stomach. But it is jazz. A complex, distressing barrage of improvisation that stuns the prissy levels of consciousness and lets the bardic, raw unconscious voice reel in delighted freedom of sound and association. A windful sky of darkness racing with occassional glimpse of translucent still starlight. So here I am, witless and broken backed…..

DYLAN
1
Son of the wave
A fluid tide jazz
Murmuration of starling words
Swinging drunk
Self-eloquent
Singing down evening lanes
The world exultant
The world squeezed
Tumbling in woven line
Dancing on tender, long toes
Sparkling.

2
My father’s mother, too, was a Thomas,
Small as a mouse with a shout and a bite
Who faded fast, turned white, drowned in herself,
Lost and homesick for something lost.

And I, maybe, now abraded down to
A Welsh road of rolling river words
Tied golden, chained to tongue
A dance for ears, mighty, joyous,
Cloud-wrenching, heart-bursting soliloquy.

3
A deliquescent, delightful urination
Of golden words.
A mushroom-minded mouthful
Of minced meanings.
A rhythmic tumble, a murder of crows,
A wild macaw of seagulled callings,
A taste of death, sweet and dusty.
So falling a sound, so rising,
A breathless gander, a meander,
A vast river of undone spun
Spick and span trodden sound.
A rush, a relief, a rocket acceleration
Of howling words
Through one bright mind.

4
O Dylan, a dilation
A look you here
A gone-to-bed-at-noon,
A fluster of seed heads
Blown in breezes,
The drunken, dizzy delight
And a slow, slow, solidifying
Concretion of the weight
And want of seconds,
Rapid, rapid, the going and the coming
Of sparrows, the flutter of days
Between spark and darkness
Of death worm dark.

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