PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
News and Notes
Digital Access to PN Review
Access the latest issues, plus back issues of PN Review with Exact Editions For PN Review subscribers: to access the PN Review digital archive via the Exact Editions app Exactly or the Exact Editions website, you will first need to know your PN Review ID number. read more
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Drew MilneTom Raworth’s Writing
‘present past improved’: Tom Raworth’s Writing

(PN Review 236)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Alejandro Fernandez-OsorioPomace (trans. James Womack)
(PN Review 236)
Kei MillerIn the Shadow of Derek Walcott
1930–2017

(PN Review 235)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
Gratis Ad 1
Gratis Ad 2
Next Issue Peter Scupham at 85: a celebration Contributions by Anne Stevenson, Robert Wells, Peter Davidson, Lawrence Sail

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
...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image