Reply To: Week 2 Posts – November 28th

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This is one of a lot of pieces I did for a poetry pop-up a couple years ago and I don’t know what I ultimately want to do with it, but I liked a lot of its parts. If it looks funky below, the attached Word doc should be ok.

Hope to have time to respond to the Wk1 and Wk2 pieces so far. Take care y’all!


I wish less folks were too busy to stop
and scream
the pink of their lungs up and out
through their throat.

But most people sleep at night and
that’s the kind of vocal cord scarring
you can’t do in the waking snake-along
daytime. Especially here in the heart
of America’s sandbar dick

where every hour from eight in the morning
to six in the evening feels like noon. High
noon. Higher noon than in any western.
Ten million sunbeams a solar blanket on the wind
that carries voice in its nimble fingers. Dulls the sharps,
pulls down the decibels like shade inside window.

I do my best yelling when the sun goes down.
Sound carries farther when there’s fewer sources, when
there’s less radiation to traverse. When
the visible spectrum shrinks to the size of a flashlight

gripped firm in calm unsteady hand. I think
if I scream loud enough tonight I can
hold hand steady long enough to reach
for someone else’s without the shaking shame
prompting me to pull it back the instant I offer it
and hold firm.

When the shaking returns at sunrise I
will still be holding their palm to mine.
Will no longer need to scream.
Will be able to telegraph my thoughts
and let my cords rest

until the next time I wedge a brick into the
inevitable breakneck business of living

and am overpowered by the urge to shoot
my voice out ten thousand miles into
the blackstill night.