tousled words

Dare I hope that the honesty
of these tousled words
tumbling unbidden from
nervous lips might
compensate for the artless
manner in which they cling
so curiously together?

How whole is this me
constituted by ramshackle
ramblings that refuse
to relinquish aught of any
reality beyond that which
my weary mind, lost in longing
of breath and flesh, constructs?

As a child I played with dolls
and as soon as I could write,
I composed their tales,
even as I continue to write
my own, regardless of tenure
or tone or of anything more
than my eternal desire.

[My thanks to Allison for her inspiration: ]


11 thoughts on “tousled words

  1. Oh, dear sweet George! How this made me smile all over…. as soon as I saw “tousled” … you are a beautiful human and this is a beautiful, beautiful poem. Here’s to the weary mind, soaked deep in longing, we have surely met each other there.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely, geek away to your heart’s content. I love it. My poor students in ESL at the college are my captive audience; poor dears listening to me rambling away at times at the etymology of certain words and how they sound and what their original meanings were.

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      • There must be, right? Otherwise, it feels a bit exhibitionistic. Getting myself all excited over language in front of an audience. I am grateful for the subject I teach. ESL students are wonderful to work with. Eager and appreciative and full of questions.

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      • I know just what you mean! I did my first poetry reading last year and had a strange feeling like, am I doing this for me or the audience or both and does it matter? How funny to think people have been performing for each other forever. And I can just imagine your beautiful students eager to learn a second language. I took Spanish all through college and in my senior year I was so in love with the sound and feel of the words on my tongue, really sinking into the exotic new rhythm and flow of another language (you know how there is a different cadence and …mmm I am not finding the right word for this, but in each language there is its own sort of … music to it? You don’t just learn the pronunciation but you become immersed, you embody the whole thing..) that my professor told me I should move immediately to Spain for three months at least and let it all become part of me. I wish so badly I would have could have done it. Just as you say, I was so immensely appreciative to be able to learn a new kind of culture and expression. You are doing such beautiful work.

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      • Yes, exactly, there is a music to it. I knew you would understand that. I know people who struggle with learning a new language–which is certainly a challenging undertaking for anyone–and they focus so much on words and perhaps grammar that they miss sound, and pronunciation is not just individual sounds–it is rhythm, intonation–it’s musical. And every language has its musical beauty. It’s funny to me to hear people describing some languages as sounding beautiful, while others sound harsh or even ugly. But all language is beautiful–there is music and power in every language that exists. I can easily imagine you understanding that. And before I forget, congratulations on the poetry reading. My goodness, I don’t think I could ever dare. I am impressed, Allison. I hope it was a wonderful experience. Have you done any others since?

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      • Oh please do not be impressed, dear George. It was only a small reading I did for my local library as a way of honoring National Poetry Month. I read from my book and then talked some about creativity and the importance of being creative out loud, of saying the thing or writing it or singing or whatever you feel called to do. So many hold back, are frightened of their own creative longings, or downplay them, shush them. That breaks my heart. I have not done any more readings since, though I thought about it, and then the pandemic.. and, well. But I like recording and sharing here on WP, this brings me joy enough for now. And as for the music of language, the dance of it, everything you say about it resonates with me, which does not surprise me in the least…

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      • Your book? Dear God, how did I miss that? And it looks like TWO books. At least. I’ve just ordered Vein. I can be obsessive about chronology. Age and a fascination with history can do that to you. So let’s start with what appears to be your first collection of poetry. Thank you, Allison. I am really looking forward to this.

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      • Oh god, GEORGE. I kind of love that you chose to start with Vein… no one ever really does. She is very different than Luminae, very different mood. Vein was an absolute wild thing, she came through like claws and blades, and yet I let her be what she was, whatever she was. A bit mad. But so tender, too. A bit … well, I’ll let you be with her and I would be so grateful to hear how you find her to be. It is interesting, how the energy kind of morphs and evolves as you grow as an artist, as you play with it, but there was something in Vein that I think was pure for me as a ‘new poet’ that while I hope my writing has improved since then (2016, alas, seems like eons ago), I hope it still has the hot blood and gnashing teeth like she did… George? Thank you. Thank you so much for your curious and open mind and heart and soul. I am so honored you are welcoming my book into your hands. That is so sacred to me, that you trust my work. I trust it in your care very much. Because you don’t see as others do. Really, I don’t either.


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