For those who don’t know, Tess Kincaid is a reclusive and enigmatic American poet and blogger (Life at Willow Manor) who lives, some say, in the glorious state of Ohio. A kind of 21st century Emily Dickinson, only without the epilepsy, and with more social skills, and a Land Rover, and electricity.

I was, therefore, honoured to receive her blessing, for this recording of her wonderful poem Modern Fugue:

We sing plain American
and play, achingly similar,
in a flux of singing telegrams.

Through well-tempered episodes
and false entries, we build
like a Midwest summer
fever, an infection
of synonymous tumors, ripe
with tonic chords
Gershwin would admire.

The house water runs
warm and loud until everything
goes silent; but it’s never
entirely silent, to be murdered
by a song.

Don’t forget, she’s American, so she can’t spell tumours, yet that, I feel, is part of her charm. Poor spelling didn’t stop Emily Dickinson writing 900 fucking poems.

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