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Wesley Rothman

Wesley Rothman’s poems and criticism have appeared or are forthcoming in 32 Poems, Asheville Poetry Review, Crab Orchard Review, Drunken Boat, Four Way Review, New England Review, PANK, Post Road, Prairie Schooner, Rattle, Southeast Review, Vinyl, and The White Review, among others. He has worked with Copper Canyon Press, Ploughshares, Narrative, Salamander, and Tupelo Quarterly, and teaches writing and cultural literatures at Emerson College, Suffolk University, Berklee College of Music, and Grub Street Writers’ Workshop. Recent honors include Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations, a Vermont Studio Center fellowship, and finalist standing for the Emory Poetry Fellowship and 49th Parallel Poetry Prize. His manuscript was recently named a semi-finalist for the Crab Orchard Poetry Series First Book Award.

Skippin

Subwoofer

 
 
 

Skippin


Skippin


Skippin

  

Lowering the needle, I scalpel the groove,
          a guitar’s slur my unsteady finger
                    interrupts—the vinyl myth of America
scratched and slipped sleevewise. Dark in its slim case

          a guitar’s slur steadies my fingers
                    startled by shot hole headlines. I’m
scratched, slipped sleevewise, shelved in a slim case,
          and darkened, dimmed under each deep

                    chord strummed. Startled by shot headlines
low beats loop, the needle riding back
          and darkened under deep dim
                     repeating, deep dim repeating, deep dim

low beats loop, the needle slipping back.
          I’ve lowered the needle jittery, scalpeling 
                    the groove, an alteration to soft vinyl, 
to hot notes, an interruption to America’s vinyl myth.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 







Subwoofer


Subwoofer


Subwoofer

 

From the deep, dark eye, the fat 
bellow stoking air, the hairs 

that line ear caverns vibrate. Echo 
thumps through muscle threads, 

through whatever threads of reason 
remain, shredded by tweeter, by 

treble, the shrill thinning 
of conviction. The smooth black 

globe throbs, a sub-
terranean hum, bumping 

the beat often confused
with hearts, pulsing us 

onward, switched up every now
and now. Now, from the spun 

and spinning magma
of a dark planet, bass bears 

heat and rattled sound
to their graves, bound 

by each changing track. 
Every album drops 

to silent headphones.