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issue 4






 

a poem by
Ryan Masters
> bio


Subharmonics


I.

Under intense
water pressure
eardrums bulge
inward like a lens,
fundamental
frequencies divide,
sound naturally
occurs in the range
of the sub-bass.

At one point
the eardrum bursts
like a bubble.

The last sound
he heard
was something
beautiful, something
akin to the acoustic properties
of light globes
and evacuated spheres
imploding underwater.
Something like song.

II.

Every night,
his drumming
floated our drunken
instruments
on its surface,
spun the notes
like leaves in its current,
occasionally drowned out
whole melodies
in the deafening
gnash and churn
of its rapids.

His right
foot stomping
on the bass pedal-
boom boom
boom boom
-like the sound
of water churning
in a hollow pocket
within the body
of a raging river.

III.

Clefs of light eddying
at the river's surface
ten feet overhead,
his vibrato body
pinned by the river's coda
to his life, the applause
deafened.

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