Plain American Language

I cut a sliver/of WC William's finger
and placed it inside/my philosophy...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Untitled (for now)

There's a wisdom tooth crowning
in an odd place
in my mouth. Tonguing it,
it's the sting of smog
picking at my throat
and the heaviness of language
beginning to root,
new branches splitting
my mouth open.
I'm not ready. It's winter,

and the middle at that,
so my English clamors
to make sentences,
thoughts, anything to battle
the on-coming spring.

I pluck a leaf from my eye:
both green and brown,
somewhere in-between seasons.
There should be no such thing
as an elegy for a language.


敖德 said...

There is definitely good imagery here. Without structure it is teetering beyond comprehension. Here's a crazy thought inspired by a Seinfeld episode (go with me here):

Somewhere in-between seasons,
both green and brown,
I pluck a leaf from my eye
as an elegy for a language.
There should be no such thing.

Thoughts--anything to battle
this on-coming spring--
still clamoring to form sentences;
my English isn't ready for
a change: it's winter here

and the middle at that,
and neither am I. In my mouth,
trunk splitting, in my ears,
foliage. Rooting again:
the heaviness of language

picking at my throat.
It's the sting of smog,
tonguing it. In my mouth
in an odd place
there's a wisdom tooth crowning.

Alison said...


I think this is one of my favorite of your poems. It sounds like a poem Garrison Keller would read at 11am on a weekday as part of Writer's Almanac. Of course, I'm no critic, but you seem to have overcome the tendency of some of your poems skid between concrete and abstract--in this poem, you're clearly moving from one to the other.