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By Joel Dias-Porter

For Eardrum

First hold the needle
     like a lover’s hand
Lower it slowly
     let it tongue
     the record’s ear
Then cultivate
     the sweet beats
     blooming in the valley
     of the groove
Laugh at folks
     that make requests
What chef would let
     the diners determine
Which entrees
     make up the menu?
Young boys
     think it’s about
     flashy flicks
     of the wrist
But it’s about filling the floor
     with the manic
     language of dance
About knowing the beat
     of every record
     like a mama knows
     her child’s cries
Nobody cares
     how fast you scratch
Cuz it ain’t about
     soothing any itch
It’s about how many hairstyles
     are still standing
At the end of the night.

Source: Poetry (April 2015)

  • Arts & Sciences

Poet Bio

Joel Dias-Porter
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, performance poet Joel Dias-Porter served in the US Air Force following high school, and then worked for several years as a professional disc jockey in the Washington, DC area under the name DJ Renegade.  A Cave Canem Fellow and member of Washington, DC’s WriterCorps, Porter has taught at Duke Ellington School of the Performing Arts. He lives in the DC area. Dias-Porter’s poetry engages the act of improvisation through explorations of intimacy, jazz music, and family heritage. See More By This Poet

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