These assembly line double-you’s:
w w w w w w.
or the a’s, they have it: a, a, a, a
followed always in my mind
by a distant long ago echo
s, d, f; j and k, l and semi ;
The nails in the coffin of something hard to express
Was that moveable type.
It took all these centuries for the thing to die.
And for it to be dragged into that waiting pine box.
And that death
Means that I am removed from this thing I create.
I sit back in my chair and right now
As I write now.
There is this keyboard on my lap.
My fingers dance across the keys.
My fingers just danced across to strike out
“m,y, (space bar) f,I,n,g,e,r,s (Space bar) j,u,s,t, (space bar)”
and so on.
They come up on the screen.
These assembly line m’s. and y’s.
Why?’s perhaps but not wise.
They are meaningless on the screen.
Perhaps they will take on some new afterlife online in some self-indulgent blog.
Perhaps they will reborn after being shat out the printer.
Maybe I will hold that paper in my quaking hand and read it in a coffee shop.
Or pass it on to a friend.
Or just read it and crumble it up and throw it away forever.
I am removed now from the thing I create.
It is not like before.
I used to write in this leather-bound journal.
My hand writing is bad.
But each of these m’s and y’s they were my babies.
Each a little different than the other.
Unconsciously mostly I might draw them out lengthwise to fill the line.
Mostly unawares I might cheat a little of the space between words to fit it all together.
Now they are all the same, factory-made.
I wait and I watch passively.
Wondering if it will fit in the way that I hope it will fit.
It is a testament to this age that I think even in terms of defaults.
Now the default is that it will be spelled correctly.
The first letter in the line will be capitalized.
There are orphans and widows no more.
I might undo them now.
But that’s different
Than having to do them all
In the first place.
We don’t understand
What it means that He is The Word.
They didn’t either.
But we don’t understand it.
In a new and deeper way.
Our poetry doesn’t rhyme anymore.
This is both the fall out
And the plutonium that sat unexploded
In the pregnant warhead before the blast.
We don’t understand what it means that He is the Word.
Our poetry doesn’t rhyme.
We have this idea that Adam reached into a primordial pouch of scrabble letters.
And that he pulled these little tiles out.
And that he arranged them haphazardly on his the little blue rack.
And then he declared that the beast that had been paraded before him.
Would be christened forever with his name.
Perhaps we believe this because there was this tower once that fell.
And then language was confounded.
Ironically, We began to babble
After the tower fell.
“It was Good.”
And “it was very good.”
And “It is not good for man to be alone.”
He said these things before he made Adam outside the Garden.
Before Adam named them all in the garden.
Adam floundered into language.
Or he fell into language.
Or he flirted with language.
But the words existed before him.
It was not only The Word.
But all of the words.
All of the words.
For everything that would ever be.
They existed before him.
Our poetry does not rhyme anymore.
We should lament the loss of something precious in this.
Once we believed that all those sounds participated in the meanings.
Once we believed that sounding right implied rightousness.
They buried the coffin with nails made of moveable type.
I saw them do it.
They did not stop for a cigarette break.
They began to dig a whole right next to it.
Sometimes when a man watches his wife die,
He wants them to prepare a space next to her.
I’ve never known of them to dig that hole to get it all ready.
Right after the funeral.
They, must have known it wouldn’t be long for him either.
He was never the same when they realized that there was not one language.
And not a hundred language. Or even a thousand.
It did not help that languages died. And then they were born. And then they died.
They evolved. Languages and creatures evolved.
And they saw that there were these terrible masters of language, too.
They saw how they could put words together, sometimes, so beautifully.
They could build these rythmns and rhymes,
Paint these pictures with the words. Say things with out ever saying them.
Only in the wordless time, near sleep.
Did it struck the gut with unassailable certainy.
These words were not right
Not right at all.
This is why we think
That if there was an Adam.
He must have named them all by reaching into a scrabble letter bag.
This is why our poetry does not rhyme.
This is why it is a new flavor of meaningless.
To proclaim that he was The Word.
We don’t believe in Words with a capital double you anymore.
We think it is just a group of lines, a scratching on the page
Imbued with meaning only because we have agreed upon that meaning.
That is why we make them all the same and we think that this is not just o.k.
But all these letters, made from a factory, and living in limbo on the screen:
They have become the ideal.