Rowan Ricardo Phillips

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Rowan Ricardo Phillips

The Triumph of Song

I mean, the only zone I think I might
Know, and by ‘know’ I mean ‘this thing hasn’t
Quite killed me yet’ is the triumph of song.
All my poems mean that, I think, really —


This is the edge of my observable
Universe: I can’t see what does not sing,
Or what I have not coaxed notes from out of
Thin air. Like the first time I must have heard


Strawberry Fields Forever. I was twelve
And cupped the soft black sponges to my ears
While sitting cross-legged on a friend’s twin bed
As the janky copy of the cassette


Copied over my memory of where
I was, with whom I was, and even who
I was. All I remember is the song,
All that confident lack of confidence,


Which is what making art is really like.
The dark blood zoning forward and backward
In the brain, the heart like grass in a bowl,
And the burning horizon’s sharp swagger


All of it part physics, part faith, part void.

Rowan Ricardo Phillips reads “The Triumph of Song”


Rowan Ricardo Phillips’ most recent book is Living Weapon.