My Double Bass Sings
I am the double doom of D
battery boomboxes on blacktops
Boombataa and break dancing
and dunking from the baseline
like a brontosaurus rippling the bay
in a rhapsody of reverb sung low
like bow strings over wood warm as bourbon.
I am a cross-Atlantic clipper ship
a hull of mahogany a harmony
hauling migrants who hold records
of Wagner and his Valkyries ride basslines
demonic and horrific as Conquistadores ashore
looking over the moan of the distant dead.
I am the Gyunto monk humming
Om-mani-padme-om purring at basecamp
ominous as the Theremin before
Victor’s monster groans his dark matter
currents rise and harmonize the universe with stars
fading on Atropos plucking along to Adam’s blues.
This is Joan of Arc
at the stake. The Allegory
of the Cave. The Ring of Fire.
fennel stalk to humans.
Shadows and smoke
thrown against black
walnut trees in Salem.
These are the grasslands and the Klan,
a Sagittarius of torches,
wild horses and hoods
galloping under God.
This is the slow burn
of dolls and hymnals,
curbs charred in Alabama.
This is Bradbury’s lesson,
never to let a cinder lick
a book yellowed with fear.
This is what I think
on the beach with my daughter
reading on the sand fanning herself
as I build a raft of brush
to burn the night enough
to keep the dark away.
Jacob Anthony Ramirez is a distinguished graduate of the University of Lancaster’s MA in
Creative Writing, where he studied poetry under Sarah Corbett and Paul Muldoon. He is the
recipient of the 2019 Portfolio Prize. His work has been published in The Breakbeat PoetsVolume IV: LatiNEXT, 45th Parallel Magazine, The San Joaquin Review, and elsewhere. He
currently teaches English in Sonoma County, California where he edits Cloverse—a creative
writing anthology for young writers. He lives with his wife and two children.
Artwork by: Damon Lam