20 January 2009

Wanda Coleman

[from Wanda Coleman's Mercurochrome, Black Sparrow, 2001]


it's a verb drives verb world

where she huddles in his exhaust, tiny & deformed
governed by a flow of wonts

everything that runs on adjectives is stalled

street crimes abound -- the bump & run of fast gab
trunk thefts gagas drive-bys gagas snipings

don't lower your windows for well-dressed talk
don't stop in a residential zone to still sudden
develop a protective code of tongue when
one's vocabulary is arrested for DUI
act as if being possessed by adverbs is an everyday
       affair. don't
complain that the noun is too tight. keep
the eyes dotted. don't volunteer a syllable.

as for homonym invasion & trope jackings
avoid being a victim, remember: blowouts may
cause permanent syntax damage. stay in the right lanes
should a quick exegesis be mandatory

(pronounce it aloud, once, for yourself, put
a breath at the end of each sentence, thus
sustaining the wordsmith who may wag & wax
anew. speak in even tones, in a language so poor
it wouldn't pay to steal a phonon)

a survivor's whine to sweet soft grammars
coupled with rhetorical purrs -- held
neological hostage to used word dealers

chance driving on the rim of meaning. it's cheaper
to replace than a presumed sanity

full speed, blues ahead

Mercurochrome: New Poems

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