Summer, 2013 / No. 30

Underground, current transforms, rounds

into a measured throb of chords. Take

“Train in Vain,” broadcast without the sound

of Mick’s guitar—all low-end, the quake

of a track revived in a basement

when we were seventeen, lit and flip-

ping though a freight of Hustlers, intent

on Johnny Holmes’s moustached lip.

We would look, and look again: making

sure we recognized our meager sex

as human, eager for the birth

of Spector’s wall after countless takes.

Our hope knew his soundtrack’s reflex,

ranged like static in bandwidths of surf.

Jim Johnstone is a poet, editor, and critic. His latest books are The Essential D. G. Jones and Dog Ear. Recently, he won Poetry’s Editors Prize for Book Reviewing. Last updated winter, 2016–2017.