Friday, November 7, 2008

Mouth Gym

All day I iterate:
incessant and repetitive syllabic jabber
modulating up and down and in and back throughout the ladder
of concerned and sweetly reasonable turns and tones
as if I were invoking all the grown-up conversation
that I heard on phones and in the kitchen
and the living room and bedroom down the hall:

all the sounds around me when I was an infant:
trying vaguely, maybe, to attempt to comprehend
at least if all these mostly gentle bends and twists and little laughs
that seemed so prettily persistent meant that their
soft ambience intended happiness: more generally
basking in their vocal flows and ripples, floating
through their stippled starts-and-stops

like bubbles popping in a bath –
attempting, maybe, also
to discover in the lilt
a way to inculcate
a safety out of all
the mass of noise
that seemed in grown-ups to be strangely inexplicably

a product of their poise. Their lips were slick as butter.
When I was older I began to stutter.
Today I don’t, so much,
but keep in touch in ever-present ways with the amazing
brays and sways and phases of the phrases
that beset my psyche’s east and west and north and south.
Every day I have to exercise my mouth.


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