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He Held Radical Light

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A.R. Ammons

He Held Radical Light

He held radical light

as music in his skull: music

turned, as

over ridges immanences of evening light

rise, turned

back over the furrows of his brain

into the dark, shuddered,

shot out again

in long swaying swirls of sound:

reality had little weight in his transcendence so he

had trouble keeping

his feet on the ground, was

terrified by that

and liked himself, and others, mostly

under roofs:

nevertheless, when the

light churned and changed

his head to music, nothing could keep him

off the mountains, his

head back, mouth working,

wrestling to say, to cut loose

from the high, unimaginable hook:

released, hidden from stars, he ate,

burped, said he was like any one

of us: demanded he

was like any one of us.


The dark side of brilliance.

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