Going Down and Up, Laurinda Lind

Drawing 4, Duncan Moon

Going Down and Up audio file

 

Going Down and Up

I walk down into the festival drums
picking my feet up around the snakes
who bask near the backbeat until
I go alone in a grove of thumps.
The thuds fill with vocal light. I
slide along an iridescent wave
of quick skin rubbed against
a cylinder of sound. Ta Ka De Me
Ta Ka De Me The hiccups of heat
stop when I am three-quarters
of the way down in the ground,
so I know I will have to corkscrew
my way out again. First I will
have to climb back through
my senses and up inside my shirt
in time to put on a straight face
once the music stops
then keep my silence
afterward since this is nowhere
near the end of the ascent.

___________________
Laurinda Lind

 

Review by Lynn Otto

Lind’s “Going Down and Up” made me think about how I respond to music—how physical I feel—out of my head and into my body. The poem takes that sense of being physically grounded even further—“three-quarters / of the way down in the ground.” I looked up “Ta Ka De Me” to see if it was a different language or a line from a song, and found “Takadimi” in Wikipedia: “a system devised . . . in 1996 in order to teach rhythm skills.” I might have chosen some way to communicate rhythm that was more universally understood, but maybe a lot more people than I realize know what this means, or maybe I should say they know what it doesn’t mean, for it does give a strong sense of rhythm; it’s just that, for me, it also raised irrelevant questions. Moving on, the poem explores something I don’t think I’ve ever read about—the reverse transition—this time from a physical, musical realm to a masked (“put on a straight face”), silent realm—kind of sad, but a very cool subject for a poem. I don’t know what to make of the poem’s reasoning: “since this is nowhere / near the end of the ascent,” though I like that line break a lot!

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