Nicole Burney is a writer native to New Jersey, who became fascinated with poems and stories as a child. Initially she wrote articles for Hubpages and the like, about literacy and education, based on her own experiences tutoring her niece. Early versions of her poems, "Headlong & Farthing" and "Reclaiming A Lost Art" appeared in Boston Poetry Magazine. She also reviewed Stacie Leatherman's collection, Stranger Air, for The Rumpus. In 2015, Nicole joined The Somerset Poetry Group to conquer stage fright and commune with other Jersey poets.
I prefer ungentrified liquor
attuned to the velocity of saints.
If I reach back
it was never total dissonance:
a slap bass spine
the djembe of my left eye like
free radicals set to penetrate everything.
What's it like to feel a body
instrumental to loud, lush living?
A pentatonic heart
tacked to the quick is bound
to make a cello of me.
I do not wish to be fifteen again
pledged to bonfires
and Prince in his purple overcoat
I merely aim for its sustenance to riot.
"Bobby McFerrin" came about in my usual, discombobulated way. First, it was just the name popping into my head at odd hours, and I'd write it down in my pocket notebook. In the following months, more imagery and words: the body as instrument … he uses his body as an instrument. What an incredible thing: to know yourself so intimately, that you could make music. Bobby McFerrin appeared with a panel of neuroscientists, where he discussed the universal human response to the pentatonic scale for the World Science Festival. During a demonstration, the audience was both sharing commonality and tapping into something deeper within themselves. I wondered when was the last time I'd felt so attuned with my own body, or if I'd ever felt that way at all.
Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
All contents © the author.