You Make Me Want to Shout


Utopia cannot be repeated

And other forms of joy

Suddenly free in this totally posed

Situation is that what you mean?

You make me want to shout

Utopia is what happens

When our friends are here

And no one’s looking

How to capture this on camera

When the club is real

When how we dance is news to me

You make me sing

I am at the end of all

Evening circulating

An eventual thing to share



Like everyone was innocent

Vulnerable to the true

It’s all so simple

A sudden charisma overtakes you

Be my dawn

I don’t know joy

But that we are alive

When we do the same thing

Without repetition

In this dance you make me sweat

You make me want to shout

This is where dreams end and the social begins

In this dance shared like all dance ever was



Utopian like that scene

In Charles Atlas’ Hail the New Puritan

When Michael Clark sails down into the club

And flirts with the first person he sees

Then slaps someone else’s ass

Then dances with another

Then reclines into someone else’s arms

Takes a drag from their cigarette

Then dances with yet another

Then takes something else offered him

Snorts it then rises to the bar to buy someone a drink

Then hands them their drink

Then dances with someone on the dance floor

Then joins the DJ and performers on stage

Then climbs down and dances again with a small group



I am at the end of evening

The beginning of

A dance with you

Begins with us

So we wear this banner being alive

So the camera comes out

Where we can see it plainly

Where we can see it in this moment

When we see ourselves being

This is the unaffected interview

With all the people we ever knew

Answer these questions like the tape’s

Not even on

Still answer me like the tape’s

Not on

I move (you move) and we are not this movement

Against a wave of passion of night

Sing we are the beginning of something



And this is the kind of socialism

That your work always reminds me

Is the most alluring

To touch this togetherness

Always fleeing from us

Like that scene where Michael Clark

Sails down from the unseen entrance

Of a club…  all it takes is one person sublimely

To pass through the hands of all those others

Then they are like money

Then dance is like actual money

Social equivalence I have dreamt of

Body paint and food

PBS is my medium

Dictating to me the dying gasp

Of an aborted North American socialism.


Thom Donovan is a poet, editor, curator, and teacher currently living in Brooklyn, NY. His poems and essays have appeared widely in print and online journals, and his first trade edition book, The Hole, appeared with Displaced Press in 2012. His second book of poems, Withdrawn, will be out with Compline later this year. He is the co-editor and publisher of ON Contemporary Practice, an online journal and print monograph series for critical writings about one’s contemporaries. From 2010-2012 he edited the column “5 Questions for Contemporary Practice” at Art21 blog. He is the editor of Supple Science: a Robert Kocik Primer (with Michael Cross; ON Contemporary Practice Monograph Series, 2013) and To Look At The Sea Is To Become What One Is: an Etel Adnan Reader (with Brandon Shimoda; Nightboat Books, spring 2014). He teaches courses in poetics and writing at School of Visual Arts, Parsons, and Pratt Institute and holds a Ph.D. in English from SUNY-Buffalo. From 2011-2013 he served as Archive Manager for the Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation. He has been a fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude.