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Poetry

Pervasive Filter

by a.h.s. boy


i.
total immersion in the english language

goodbye latin french german
italian except
those phrases we can 
assimilate 
and mispronounce

O de twalet
vy saverssa
yah vol hair common dant
eksettera eksettera

like this we learn our tongues

i once tied myself up and forced
myself to learn pig latin merely 
for the sake of demonstrating
a certain form of linguistic
dexterity akin to the gunslinger 
who twirls his pistol around
his finger before placing it
back in its holster
classy 
hip
john wayne
before james dean

mastering a language means
learning the structure 
of the blueprint of new words
and cultural icons

the ability to construct

expressions like
"i am the sears tower of literature"
"her mind burned like the ground at pompeii"
and  "postmodern color,"
representing a drunkeness
of subtlety deserving 
the rank of Master Poetry
for their capacity to give
an authentic air to vague
non-existent or otherwise
indescribable notions but

what
is reality
but the object
of intention

total immersion in language?
but what language
do dreams speak?
ii.
the absolute filter
is a web of social interaction
where the unusual 
becomes dangerous:
perhaps van gogh slicing off
his ear was a sign of love
in his language maybe
depression is a beautiful dialect
or schizophrenia is a form 
of polysemic poetry --
suicide is now read like pulp fiction
as a call for help

to say
"help me" 
"help me"
doesn't mean anything
in romance languages
and at least the small
community of failed attempts
at suicide
crosses geographic boundaries
with a lexicon of scars

so what good's a dictionary
when the building blocks of language
range from characters to razor blades?

think about it

there's a romanian poet 
who speaks 
better english than
we ever will
and
better romanian

does that make him
more english than me
or less likely to kill himself?

 

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