V — In Case of Emergency Break Poem

     –for r.a.washington

These are–
gran­ite days,
they de­mand–
hard men,
for­ti­fi­ca­tions
of strange shapes
watch­words–
must blend in

We split
the rift
wider–
broth­er gives
grift- but my
words are
for­eign cur­ren­cy
in his hands.

The song­birds
The long words
spill in­to our
ears- “from
whence came ye,
wan­der­er? to
loi­ter in the eaves
of spring.”

     “I can­not fid­dle,
     but I can make
     a great state
     from a lit­tle city.“1
     Local anom­alies
     in the sec­ond law
     of ther­mo­dy­nam­ics.2
     –raw vo­cal­ized.

Watch
the candle’s wick.
The times change
and light mul­ti­plies
but men re­main
the same. Their
tongues es­tranged
by tax­on­o­my.

I hit you
be­cause I am
small.
And you are not
like me.
I am small, but
ter­ri­to­ri­al.

Any truce
seg­re­gates our
speech, as war is
two cheap­er
than peace.

How do I solve
for x in a lan­guage
that has no let­ters?

the­se rid­dles of
ar­rang­ing ad­jec­tives.

—-
1 cf. Themistocles
2 cf. James Blish


I’ve been work­ing on this for a few weeks now and I think it is fi­nal­ly sound­ing good enough to ap­pear here. I’m still try­ing to tight­en up some of the words and im­ages, and smooth out some of the rhyme. Any sug­ges­tions or ques­tions or work­shop­ping would be ap­pre­ci­at­ed.

3 thoughts on “V — In Case of Emergency Break Poem

  1. I re­al­ly love read­ing your po­et­ry. I just nev­er am able to give it the at­ten­tion that it needs. It does, how­ev­er, in­spire me to write bet­ter song lyrics. I like this one a lot and will give a few more reads.

  2. Pingback: Brewed Fresh Daily » links for 2006-02-04 » Opinions, news and events from Cleveland, Ohio

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