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This poem is taken from PN Review 139, Volume 27 Number 5, May - June 2001.

Five Poems Stephen Burt

Song

          (Bis at the Bowery Ballroom)

Their spotlight jumps the nervy, packed-in fans
In the near-dark; its effervescent disc
Skips up the mezzanine, across barrettes'
Broad rhinestone squares as stones ride over streams.
          The drum machine
Kicks out across the bars; the cool
Kids crowd up front or link hands. Crackle and glow -
     If it's a new beginning
          Then I don't
          Want to know -

Discretion and ambition and distraction
And all the daytime world a cancelled stamp -
     If it's not worth pretending
          Then I don't
          Want to know -

Your silver trainers with no laces hold
Whatever matters in the lower world
If only you would dance in them.
                              Who won't
Stand up for happy endings? Who would wait
...


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