By Mark Belair


The radiator
has been cold for quite
a while and no sooner do we
put our sweaters on than we hear,
beyond our reading, a low, deep, faraway
snap, cool as the cue that comes from the fingertips
of a leaning-in bass singer in a doo-wop group, then more
snaps rise closer and higher in pitch, like other crooners creating
a cacophonous beat, baritone gurgles following, tenor whooshes
piping in, then a hot hiss of falsetto steam tops it all off
and my warming wife, snuggling into herself, smiles
and it seems unfair that it’s the falsetto, though
dependent on everyone else for results, who
always gets the girl.



Screen Shot 2013-05-12 at 5.06.09 PMExcerpted from the collection While We’re Waiting, by Mark Belair.


MARK BELAIR is a drummer and percussionist based in New York City. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, he has recorded with jazz greats Bill Evans and Joe Lovano and performed with the New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He was the drummer in the original off-Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors and the percussionist in the Broadway production of Les Miserables.

His poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Atlanta Review, Fulcrum, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The South Carolina Review, and The Sun. His books include the collection While We’re Waiting (Aldrich Press, 2013) and two chapbook collections: Walk with Me (Parallel Press of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2012) and Night Watch, (forthcoming from Finishing Line Press).

Belair has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and his diary of the week of 9/11 appeared, during that crisis, in The Guardian.

Born in Sanford, Maine and raised in Torrington, Connecticut, and Latham, New York, Belair and his wife moved to New York City in 1974 and have lived there since. They have two grown sons.

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