The shape of words

I used to think
That I knew the shape of words,
The round and flat of them as they skimmed across the page,
The whistle and snap as they slotted into place
In the spaces for consonants and vowels.

Now I think I know
The shape of moments,
The rise and fall of breaths like cities,
Patterns of light slowing and pausing
While the pen, pneumatic, tattoos the page,
The texture and the taste of a fragment of living.


Two quotes about poetry today

“[the poet] is expected to construct new poems out of the plastic and Styrofoam garbage that litters the twentieth-century linguistic floor, to make fresh art from the used verbal condoms of social intercourse.”

Stephen Fry

“Poetry is the highest art.”

Terry Pratchett

Poetry: Syllabic

When a word crashes to the ground

creates a soundwave, a pulse

a little death that scatters leaves

those clacking hammers of the typewriter

piano keys dropping

suddenly livid

that musical myotonia

as it shatters into syllables

crumbles into spiralling letters

we see it break apart into meaning

symbol and sign spin away from each other

the phonemes collide and repel, atomic

when a word collapses into chaos

that is when we see

a little of what is called meaning

Editing poetry: Assembled According to Diagrams

This was written about someone who I believe used to create their life to cause little tragedies in it. It’s rather a fun pastime, although it can be exhausting when done for too long. This piece contains a couple of little linguistic jokes that I found amusing at the time…

You set yourself up for a fall
Unfold paper and pull out the tabs
Assemble the tragedy
Explain it with
Dark, full-fingered gestures
The germs of throwing sharp nails

Tell him why you
No longer wear the ring –
Because something runs
Down its awkward spiral
Collapses with you
Lives in your tired veins

You reason in short form
Condense – 祝いてる
Tendril words
Probing nothing stretching in
Languid misdemeanour like an orgasm
Explain it with those
Complex lopsided shrugs that
Cannot be conveyed
In moving patterns
Ones and zeroes

Tell him what you
Found under the bed
Those flimsy lines
Scratched out on paper
The first hesitant parting of skin
When you were still frightened
By the blood
Something lies under those lines
Buried in the scattered glides
Tell him why you looked