"Ooo Baby Baby"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
June 21 2011 10:38 AM

"Ooo Baby Baby"

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear T.R. Hummer read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

Across a darkness that might be water, cheap paper lanterns burn,
......and their faint luminescence is a distraction from the thought
That if there is no water there, sweetheart, we are screwed—unresolved
......darkness being just that problematic. But, no, it must be water,
Must be that lake just outside of town, because, listen, there is music playing,
......and so there must be crepe paper streamers and a bowl of dismal punch,
Bags of potato chips—God, we hope so—and, in the unsustainable light
......of the pavilion, couples dancing. We might still have that kind of hope
After we die. We might find ourselves in our bodiless bafflement, hanging
......above the expanse of nonbeing, thinking water, thinking dancers—
And Smokey Robinson surrounds us with his voice, another miracle: the old
......prom dream, I might get lucky, just one more angel among the tiny lights.

.

T.R. Hummer is author of 10 books of poetry. His 11th, Skandalon, is forthcoming from LSU Press. 

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technocracy
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.