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My favorite poem by Denis Johnson...Should be read aloud.

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 42yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that Beuphemia is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
My favorite poem by Denis Johnson...Should be read aloud.
It would be swell if someone would record their reading of this for me and post it. I don't have a mic right now.

Just remember to take a breath at every line break and mind the punctuation as normal. Don't try to read sentences as normal. He broke it up as he did for good reason. The line breaks force you to read at different speeds and sets a tone. The --- are pauses. Have fun!

THE FLAMES

In 1972 I crossed Kansas on a bus
with a dog apparently pursue to skinniness
painted on its side, an emblem
not entirely inappropriate, considering
those of us availing ourselves
of its services---tossed
like rattles in a baby's hand,
sleeping the sleep of the ashamed
and the niggardly, crying out
or keeping our council as we raced over the land,
flailing at dreams
or lying still. And I woke to see
the prairie, seized by the cold and the early hour,
continually falling away beside us, and a fire
burning furiously in the dark: a house
posted about by tiny figures---
fireman; and a family
who might have been calling out to God
just then for a witness.

But more than witness, I remember now
something I could only have imagined
that night: the sound of the reigns breaking
the bones in the farmer's hands
as the horses reared and flew back into the flames
he wanted to take them away from.
My thoughts are like that,
turning and going back where nothing wants them,
where the door opens and a road
of light falls through it
from behind you and pain
starts to whisper with your voice;
where you stand inside your own absence,
your eyes still smoky from dreaming,
the ruthless iron press
of love and failure making
a speechless church out of your dark
and invisible face.

-Denis Johnson



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My favorite poem by Denis Johnson...Should be read aloud.
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