Song of the Week: “Day Follows Night” by Some Velvet Sidewalk
Let every song end on the word “and.” I was 14 and lived in a place (Olympia, WA) where this could be the first band you see, and you’d sense a beginning, in which you aren’t a protagonist but astonishingly embedded. I considered reciting these lyrics for my valedictorian’s speech, but instead skipped and hung out by the river—a commencement of wildflowers—and what more have I ever wanted from a poem? Than to offer me words, than to drive me further. Let’s call the earnestness fierce, ecstatic, and grooved. Earnestness also affronts, is antidote, abrades, like post-surgical packing gauze that roughs up a wound—you don’t want to heal before the flesh has filled in. What happens when you press that gauze to a guitar string? The song is of its era; what isn’t. This isn’t nostalgia but the present: each day beginning, yet again, with and.
Zach Savich is the author of the poetry collections Full Catastrophe Living (University of Iowa Press, 2009), Annulments (Center for Literary Publishing, 2010), The Man Who Lost his Head (Omnidawn, 2011), and The Firestorm (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011), as well as a book of prose, Events Film Cannot Withstand (Rescue Press, 2011). His newest book of poems, Century Swept Brutal, is forthcoming from Black Ocean. He teaches at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and co-edits Rescue Press’s Open Prose Series.
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