Friday, October 17, 2008


Poetry's an exercise in echolalia,
a parrot-plumaged repetition of the world's words
and when we get it right, we devotees of Thalia
commend ourselves on creativity, such clever birds.
But take responsibility for writing failure—
which only means not managing to repeat what we've heard—
we duck and waffle, claiming "blockage" (inter alia)
instead of listening. It's like some phantom pain, referred

from missing distal portions of an amputated limb
a ghost of ancient agony that whispers on your nerves
or prompter reading off your script behind the third-act scrim,
reminding you just who it is that art's supposed to serve—
not you, not you, bright-feathered mimic squawking from your perch!
If all you have to find is you, don't bother with the search.

--for readwritepoem
Collection available! Knocking from Inside


Anonymous said...

Oh, I do so love the alliteration used in this poem as well as you comparing the theme of echolalia to a bird (or even parrots, in general).

Thank you so much for sharing! I enjoyed reading this!

Anonymous said...

I love the rhythm of this piece, and the marvelous alliteration.

Particularly pleasing: "or prompter reading off your script behind the third-act scrim..."

Really enjoying the final line, too; that resonates.

Cynthia said...

Now that fits just with what I was writing and thinking about poetry this week. Thank you!

Lisa G. said...

I love this! And this is why I love read write poem. You use sounds and words and visions that feel so fresh and vibrant. I especially like (inter alia) and the phantom pain metaphors. Thank you.

Donald harbour said...

Your poem is absolutely great! I have read it several times and each time find a different nuance of tone and feather in each word. Thanks for this gift.

Anonymous said...

What a great use of the prompt! I love the twisting rhythm and sounds...

My favorite line is "which only means not managing to repeat what we've heard" mostly because it is 100% true, and also because, all writing is a repetition of what we've heard! What a conundrum! You've captured it well here.

Great work.

Raven's Wing Poetry said...

I love your use of rhyme here. Your words are very true.


Dana said...

Yeah. This is good stuff. I love the term "inter alia" -- nice. Don't we all have inter alia?

Philip Thrift said...

Lots of good maxims here, poetically spoken.

Annamari said...

very good images, and i second Infrid on her comment on alliteration.

Nathan said...

There's much to like here. Your rhythm and tone are perfect.