Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nothing Something Everything: Words

Note: The following tripartite prose poem takes place on three parallel tracks (Nothing, Something and Everything) which one may read in several sequences:
A. From start to finish, including each track (as in a traditional poem)
B. One track at a time (i.e. only italics, standard or bold)
C. Two tracks at a time (e.g. standard and bold but not italics)
D. Repeating some lines, skipping others, reading backwards, etc. (for complete reader control)

Words are false. Words will always leave something out &
We have too little breath to speak every word at once
No one word can encompass all words
Even if we could say all the words we would exclude all the nonwords
Words leave something out & we see the shape of the something
Words create the negative space
Where is meaning? In or out of words? Inside or outside of experience?
Words create both the meaning and its opposite
There is no final word
Words were not enough to make them understand
I’m looking forwards, for words
This is the chorus
Words say nothing
Words say something
Words say everything
These pages produce nothing. They are inefficient.
Words on a page are surrounded by silence
A page is an invitation
These pages don’t work
My voice, my silence, words on a page
Given the words, you invent their message
These pages do not exist without you
If I could write these words in clay—in plastic—in wind—
Words are static on the page but shift & change shape in your mind
Why do I write about you & not talk to you?
I’m still searching for the words
Speaking in the silence
Private conversations inscribed in town squares
I arrange the page into armaments, architecture
Translate the page into being, feeling
Strokes, dots, arranged & interpreted
Words create meaning & we have to keep talking
Language, alive, an eating creature, fed by our words, & us, in self-sacrifice
How can the words so many others used before me somehow describe me?
Each word only lingers so long—the empty space must be filled again
Yet life is not filled to the brim with words. Observe the silences.
We are forced to filter ourselves into existence through a finitude of words
Written words are preserved. Spoken words expire but leave a smell.
Words leave a residue. Written words, though unspoken, echo.
I place words on a page to erase them from my brain
Words on a page make me think I have no body
We give words form to take our impression
I write to disappear, I give birth to them to die
Writing words makes me think I’ll never die
But humans & languages change & die
Words are worms in the brain
Ideas burrow further inside
& the words need us
Primed for a feast, I am host & main course
Yet you are the one who gives life to the words
Our expression survives, rising from dead tongues
Mind, nutritious mush, I am stuffed & wriggling with words
Our hands grip the tools, together, we plant the meaning of us
Others will scratch at the ground of our unintelligible legacy
& so I return to the dirt of the page to be meat for the creatures I made
& loving our sustenance we return to the dirt of the page
& mine new words from the dirt of the page

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