preface to a traffic stop: sound

i always thought sound was meant to indicate a kinda genuine, authentic, absolute individuation, which struck me as A: undesirable—& B: damn near impossible. whereas sound was reality in the midst of this intense engagement with all the sound you ever heard. sound shaped within a climate inciting performance as black matter .or. anti matter, as in against. sound a central body of “sonic” whereas you struggle to make a difference, so to speak, within that sound—& that difference isn’t necessarily about you as an individual but more simply trying to augment & differentiate the sound around you getting closer & closer to a never-ending where you are the proletariat in somebody else’s melodrama as both spectacle and spectator—as the drama unfolds—hold—hold on.


Copyright © 2021 by Randall Horton. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 12, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I’ve been wrestling with the many variations of sound as an infinite statement, but underneath this line of inquiry lies the sobering reality that the only thing genuine about sound is its capability to create beauty and ruin. Perhaps there is nothing more beautiful than sound; and yet, attached to a police car with flashing lights in the form of a siren, sound can ultimately alter the landscape of one’s physical existence, literally in a finger Snap."
—Randall Horton