When I Sing Whitman

When I Sing Whitman

by Deb Magid

When I sing Whitman,



Rorem, Argento, and Persichetti,

People laugh and gasp and sigh

and snore, sometimes,

in that pianissimo spinning of a colorless thread

gossamer and twilight

People cough and hiccough and fart
Their mobiles ring and pagers buzz
And on I soldier
like a meditating monk
examining, releasing straying thoughts

I paint the words with pitch and timbre
Eliding phrases, sensation, sense
Buzzing and creaking and stretching the moments
Dancing desire and lust and laughter

And people weep.

Playwright Deborah Magid also sings, acts, directs, writes poetry, and composes music. She is a member of the Cleveland Play House Playwrights’ Unit and on the Board of the International Centre for Women Playwrights. Her works have been granted, awarded, read, workshopped, and produced at Cleveland Public Theatre, Melbourne International Fringe Festival, Los Alamos Little Theatre, and Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, among others. She can be found at http://DeborahMagid.com.

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