From a Full Glottal Stop

between words 
its arbitrary nature breaks 
like synapse 
spitting bits of information 
from finger tip 
to brain   move 
or die      in pain
words reflect traces
like pictures 
of bubble chamber’s particles
a silent passage 
ion’s life spans split
to form from quarks of sound
to trail definition
no longer found 
at word’s end
the vagary of intervocalic r’s ululations
slip like glaciers across the geography
mountains ground into valleys 
standards set by the sounds 
of a stuttering elite
from tight interdental vibrations 
to the wet chokes of distant glottal stops
a race emerges gurgling 
a baby slides from the womb 
one lone wail 
widens the world 
with nascent definition
the widening arms of galactic spirals 
embrace space
a tongue surrounds sounds
a nest sits tight in tessellating trees 
balanced between branches 
bending like water over rocks 
or air fired by lungs 
tempered by throat 
molded then refined
to fit soft lips 
to pull the helix 
into meaning
warmly around the body 
quivering between sounds 
uttered by all
breath catches on sound 
stumbles through phoneme 
an epic of history–
clotted blood and laws for meaning
the written word 
the spoken word
shore nothing 
no grammar no syntax no links 
between lines scratched in bone
and the vibrations released 
closed off  by throats– 
clogged with sand 
eyes cannot read 
the parched symbols 
on the crumbling page
the pen tip dips ink across paper
calligraphic swathes of black
direct us 
the spiral descent 
the twisted ascent
information crosses 
detaches reforms
performs its duty 
with change 
arbitrary regulation 
ink blood genes words 
control blurs
vision fluxes 
about the pen’s nib
we weave on
an undulant path
rocks are water 
trees birds blur 
into buildings blur 
into rubble 
so we pray 
mumble words 
recite words 
cite formulas  
a prescription
a description 
of a world we want 
only when without
so we chant
chant syllables past consonants
vowels change into truer vowels
to change the word  
to change the world

(circa 1990-1994, from If This is a Comedy, Then Why Aren’t We Laughing)

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