Obsessive Voice

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He picks up a rock,

He puts it down.

 

He picks up a rock,

He puts it down.

 

He tells himself:

Don’t pick it up;

 

He picks up the rock,

He puts it down.

 

He tells himself

He is stupid—

 

He tells himself

Not to say such things.

 

He tells himself

He is stupid

 

For saying such things,

Then says them again.

 

He tells himself

Don’t pick it up.

 

He picks up the rock,

And puts it down.

 

(October 15, 2018)

 

 

 

 

the words were why I wrote when young

 

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the words were a way out

between the rigid definitions,

the expectations carved in cant

 

the words slipped along fault

line’s edges; the incongruous fissured

like water through the undefined

 

the words wore meaning there,

bare and taut, shrugging off

all social niceties for love

 

the words were love for the world:

the laughter of the sun rippling

the horizon further each day

 

words were a way to a salvation

from what I was not to become

 

(June 25, 2018)

Supplication

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My mouth is my wound,

a stigmata of broken teeth

and words. My tongue’s slashed

like ribbons flapping

in the mountain’s wind.

My prayers snap violently

into the icy air’s silence.

 

I don’t know what to do

now: swallow my own

blood, and drown; or spit

my life onto the ground

to call forth a bitter

beast which I fear

will devour me whole?

 

(May 11, 2018)

i sound out words in an unknown language

“pale light by which it reads itself’
            –Michael Palmer, Light Moves 3
almost morning almost night
the cloudy day verges on rain
i know figures on the wall as wall
a cuneiform by which i’m accounted
a permanence impressed to clay
to which i’m owed as recompense
i understand little i read now
the words slur thick in my mouth
inarticulate i shuffle a dance
hoping my steps fall sure
beneath this pale neon moon
tell me again i sing who i am
(September 3, 2017)

Witness to a Dream

He stands within someone’s dream;
It cannot be his own,
For he is awake and chanting.
The square is full; people watch,
Distracted,
As he starts to speak.
They listen as if his words
Were under water
Trapped in tangled weeds.
He sees the words in air,
And cannot question
His own clarity.
Without hope of redemption,
He sees what he sees.

(August 22, 2017)