Sunday, September 22, 2013

Songbird- poetry reading

this is the way i felt like reading. so i did. 

i had only the language you gave me.
seven months old the words malformed
in my mouth, like a lumpy Down Syndrome tongue.
this is University Education: the meaning
hidden inside the puzzle, the puzzle hidden
inside the vault of Government Bank,
where only old white men can see inside.

the white shake of a stained diaper,
the opium bloom of an infant cry:
these dailies are not for Philosophy majors.
i sidled next to your fat pipe,
speaking in gutteral German, songbird's throaty discourse.
your words streamed over us like bile, a fouled water source,
gritty bathtub mom's hands circled and circled with bleach.

your words were Damnit, Shit, What the Hell,
i never heard an adult say I Don't Understand
so often. there was everything you did not understand,
an entire world of languages for Communications majors;
i hung upside down from mom's breast, trying to learn.
the trickle song that left my mouth was a warble, a sickle

celled singing, a corrosive tune to the family structure.
You Will Not Sing At the Dinner Table, i was instructed.
the galaxy eye of my sister was turned toward infinity-
i must breach the silence or die trying.
the pen in my hand, like a prosthetic song, a stand-in
a voice-over, a kind translator, the speech therapist
that smoothed my tongue and distilled the sing song
to the fine point, where words poured

in black ink on white paper, and i could flush triumphantly
without ever revealing i had a voice, after all.
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