Vox Populi

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Doug Anderson: Waltz Me Deeper

I seem to be arriving at a goal I had not aspired to. The distance between my writing and my being in the world is lessening. My speaking voice is less distinguishable from my writing voice, and my writing voice is acquiring the candor of speech. I suppose this is a good thing. If you draw an equilateral triangle and place, respectively, at each angle — reading, writing, and speaking, it begins to make sense why we labor with words, a craft that in spite of our national lapse into banality, still matters. Language comes from the body; it is most satisfying when it returns.


It is no respecter of convention. Nor of age. It does not explain itself. Does not comfort you when you have lost it. It crawls on your back and hangs where once there were wings. It waits for you to come round and rise from your knees to go another round. It offers you a cliff that you are always already stepping off. Wisdom will help nothing but the quality of your grief. Forethought is a fool with an abacus against that which cannot be measured. There is no planning for it. There is no guard against it. In some other life I will know how to soar with its song and be free.


I’ll have a train come roaring out of my mouth to break this morning’s mirror, or John Ashbery roller skating through a surgical theater with the white robed hierophants lifting their bloody fingers to pronounce that which 
dissolves as soon as it is named. 
There is a calliope at the center of the earth 
and we are like horses turning, turning, 
around the neon music. Waltz me deeper. 
It can’t be that love makes us stupid.
There’s some other thing at work
 I have to trust, riding blind and bareback 
into a landscape that is not in focus 
until I look behind me. Prayer and silence here.

Copyright 2015 Doug Anderson

2 comments on “Doug Anderson: Waltz Me Deeper

  1. jfrobb
    September 13, 2017

    A portion of Waltz Me Deeper is now in my journal – a place I use to keep things close at hand. It is a strong piece. The strongest part the curious power of those three simple words combined. Wow.
    So sorry I missed this piece earlier. Very glad I happened upon it now. You have joined old favorites like Walt Whitman, Leonard Cohen, Maira Kalman. Many thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Elaine Olund
    August 28, 2015

    “There is a calliope at the center of the earth 
and we are like horses turning, turning, 
around the neon music. Waltz me deeper.” well–whatever’s happening, it’s beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on August 11, 2015 by in Personal Essays, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , .

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