gardening with language

Feb 18, 2008


typewriter planter
Originally uploaded by zen
i don't understand words
they're not my native tongue
my language is a necklace
of proto-images
usually in deep turquoise
dipped on a field of black
gathering and collecting together
at the beginning of thought

if i hold the word 'flame'
on my tongue
it doesn't burn
flame is more like a moving ribbon
of light and licorice
but if i close my eyes
and smell the black smoking earth
and see the weeping leaves
writhe and coil in the fire's hot draw
and finally crackle to dust
it sits me on a stove's
red burner sizzling
smelling meat

words are more like plants
that clasp their space
reluctantly
and launch into flower the instant
you turn your back
to examine a different one
they squirt up from the black humus
of our beginnings
squeezed by the cadence
of light and storm
and the glib whim
and capricious fancy
of meaning

and once you learn a new word
it flowers everywhere
your mom uses it twice in a sentence
a crass commercial product
trying to be artsy whispers it lovingly
and
your minister asks you
if you know what it
really means

words get in the way of meaning
like flowers in the way of plants
suddenly
everyone's concerned with sex
instead of how we got here
and posing paradoxes
that unhinge language
from its frame

leaving the door open
to the garden of thought

4 comments:

oakleyses said...
July 5, 2016 at 8:12 PM  
oakleyses said...
July 5, 2016 at 8:17 PM  
oakleyses said...
July 5, 2016 at 8:21 PM  
oakleyses said...
July 5, 2016 at 8:26 PM  

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