Ghazal, with Piano Bar in Winter

Increase intensity through attention, pressure, weight,
or time, to hear the singing in a higher register—

The same way a threaded button spins faster, looser
or more taut, depending on the varied register

of fingers pulling at the edges. I prefer lower, mellow
notes to shrill, but there is power too in upper registers—

but there must be absolute precision there, no way to flub
the reach by saying, Oh, I was just trying a jazzy register

In the low-lit bar, patrons sent up slips of paper and requests.
But though the pianist crooned his best, not all could register

the depth of feeling poured into a song: something with a blue moon
or a river, the way you looked the night when I first registered

the tilted axis of the room, banal rush of traffic outside in the rain:
unusual warm night in late winter, that too a kind of register.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← HeartsTracks →

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

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