Wittgenstein's remark

Published in Everyone's a fucking poet! 1995

"If a lion could speak
            we wouldn't understand him"

I am backbone and vocal cords.
My shriek is a banshee wailing 
at the doors of civilised houses.
I am afraid of the language I speak.
Afraid of the jungle which is home
and the dangers of men who communicate 
with guns and Bibles. A dialect 
I don't understand but whose
final sound is Death. I pronounce
the word Survival with my teeth.   

Scrape the skin from my back
with a razor of gold and I will
fight like one man curses another. 
Am I anything but anger 
before I speak? We both
are made in the mouth.
I can't find myself until I call out
my own name. And then yours.
I will use these words like
the skeleton that moves with 
me. Like fingers pulling triggers.     

Hunger for my lion head
culls dialogue like claws.
I've known fierce battles
of throwing spears and
pointed insults. I locate
my thoughts in relation to
the distance between my teeth 
and your rifle barrel like
a telephone wire. No
common tongue : the bullet
and the roar. I sleep with
other lions. You gave us
pride and took it away.

The silence of my lumber 
walk. Snapping twigs
beneath your feet. We are
the hunter and the beast.
Or the one and the other.
I live by who you are.
You live by my clenched jaw,
the growling sound of fear.


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