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A day off, and I’m listening to reggae, because a student told me to. I try to get in their minds, so here I sit. I have to say, its pretty enjoyable. But I feel the same way when I listen to HP’s jam band music. Like I am a voyeur in the land of the light. These people are too happy for me. And the music is too happy for the oppression in the words I hear. There is too much of a disconnect. It is just too cheery, the beat, for something like Buffalo Soldiers. It is too happy.

I thought today I would write about that disconnect:

Reggae in the North Woods

Listening to reggae in the northwoods disheartens us,

but makes us supply the forest with beachy time lapse and womb light:

“Hey Dad, want to have a race?”

This spring moss gives us bouncing patience.

I watch you bouncing our daughters with gaping vesicles,

and they know an alphabet in apples,

and then there is this professor in i think Scotland


who has photographed faeries. For real. So there.

I see them, skipping in the gloaming,

pretending the train horn is far fog.


Because they have always been there.

I see why people hate this key,

because of its pep and saccharin,

and because of the stupid jump and bend.

This beat in incongruous with the pine and wolves and hawks,

but not really,

because of the kayakers and preppers,

whose hate belongs to different poles,

and because of the racists next door

who blast it without knowing that the ones they hate perfected the beat.

That is worth the wait.


Happy Friday, people of poems. We jammin’.