Monday, April 29, 2013

30 poems in 30 days: 29

Word Play

I like polysyllabic words like "obsequious"
and "sexuality" because they squish in my mouth
and also because they point to aspects of life
that make some listeners cringe.

"Cringe" is another wonderful word --
it sounds like what it is -- and "whinge,"
which rhymes, makes me smirk. There are days
when I seem to be on a cringe mission, my assignment

to disturb whoever crosses my path.  "Disturb" and
"disturbing," in fact, have often been applied to me
and my work by cringing whingeing patriarchs, unsettled
daddies who would like to paint me as deranged

rather than as the voice of another (and better)
reason.  "Derange" is another word that interests me,
as does "disgruntled."  What does it mean to be
"gruntled," I wonder?  And who is?  And if

I can be "deranged," does that mean, like a buffalo,
that I've been deleted from the range?  "Delete"
is a wonderful word, come to think of it, perhaps
a uniquely 21st century verb, like "defriend."

Verbs and nouns are essential words for any
literary project.  No ideas but in things, baby, and
make shit happen.  In my book, adverbs are evil,
like termites chewing the house down behind

the wainscoting.  "Wainscoting" is a weird word.
Adjectives, to continue the architectural metaphors,
are like dust bunnies. They collect under the beds,
along the baseboards, in the corners.  Sometimes,

I just want to sweep them out and wonder if
I could knit a sweater from them.  To end this poem,
let's consider the word "sweater."  Why would you
want to put on something designed to sweat you?

That's not very sexy.  In fact, that impinges a little
on sexuality.  Obsequious cringers wear argyle
sweaters and bow ties.  They whinge about feminists
in deranged talk shows. I just want to sweep them

out from under my bed and knit a sweater from them.
But then, I'm just a no-ideas-but-in-things making-
shit-happen deranged kind of woman, a noun and
verb bitch, a buffalo screaming "delete, delete, delete!"

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