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Scott Hightower reads from Part of the Bargain

I went over to Scott’s penthouse on 23rd Street a few weeks ago to record him reading some poems from a book of his that I like, Part of the Bargain. I thought for a minute to record on the terrace, but it was a busy day outside. From time to time we could hear the siren of an ambulance passing by on its way to an emergency room not too far away.

But we began anyway. Scott first read three poems dedicated to the Muse, whom some of us believe in and some of us don’t. I happen to. Call her inspiration if you want; but whoever she is, she has to be there at some point. I think she springs out of hard work, the desire to put (to plunk) some words into the profound silence and make sense of it with sound.

Scott’s Muses are women, one a friend from Spain, Natalia Carbajosa, a poet and translator of many English writers including H.D. and Shakespeare. Another is Ethel Waters by way of her autobiography, His Eye Is On The Sparrow, that Scott read in his early teens. And last but not least, an early poetry teacher, Marie Ponsot, fills out the trio. Three is a good number: triangles, triumvirates, pyramids. With the sounds of the city humming around us, Scott read about the sources of some of his poems. You can read them below. Enjoy.

door to the terrace copy

ethel waters

practice fitting

pf 2

Natalia Carbajosa, one of Scott’s muses, did a Spanish translation of some of his poems in a book called Hontanares. It was book published in Spain. Scott gave me a copy and I love to hold and read it. Everything about it is beautiful. Here is her translation of Door To The Terrace, La Puerta De La Terraza.




  1. Lisa Parmer Williams

    So enjoyed your reading of your poems! A pleasant and surprising present for us all. Lisa Parmer Williams

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