poem

Said the men of Babel

Syllables
have drifted loose from
words – which lacked the
weight to hold them
in, having themselves seceded
from the hierarchy
of syntax (forsaking
the patriarchy of phrases).

They float
to my ears and my brain
reassembles them
to my Mother Tongue – nearly,
a dialect close enough for
incomprehension.

“Wallah wallah,”
said the men of Babel and
the first generation, they
nodded sagely (with blank eyes
and empty smiles)
still thinking they understood –
it was the second that went insane
(trying trying trying)
but the third that figured
it out, stuffing wax in their ears.

The Sirens
didn’t sing of sex,
no come on, no allure – they
simply sang their own sad songs,
and laughed their tragedies until,
having lost themselves,
they shouted
only of the sea.

Listen. Listen.
Listen and you will
hear – you will hear yourself –
your fears and your desires.

Have you the strength to listen
to the languages you don’t speak?
Have you the strength
to ignore them?

They’re not speaking
to you, my friends. Not to
you but about you.

So shut your ears and
open your mouth and
scream out all the stories
you’re holding onto
the ones you think you’ve
the rights to hold alone.

Speak. Speak. Speak.
tragedy and your comedy,
audience regardless – speak
until they’re your stories no
longer and use up the words
of which you thought you
knew the meanings.

Use them
up and spit them out
and you will see what little use
they ever were,
and you – you will not know,
not ever again –
but you may understand that in
the cud you have spat, in the
sound as it hits the floor,
in the cough and the hacking cough,
in the choke and the sob and the sigh,
you will read more
than in the face, more
than is signed with the hands.
For you will read
through the wallah.

And you won’t
give a damn.

(Such
is the manifesto
of this revolution.)

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