Our Place

In this over-arching argument
no one can agree on 
definitions.

One side’s survival
is another’s 
unearned special treatment.

One side’s prosperity
is another’s 
starvation and bleak winter.

One side’s comfort 
is another’s 
incarceration.

Our language
is our worst enemy
these days. 

That sounds heretical from a poet?
It is a heresy, so —
yes. It sounds blasphemous?

No. No because
I say it in fear and reverence
for our tongues: our language

is against us, and to say that
is not to blaspheme
but to lament 

how far we may have to go
to gain ground upon it, reclaim it,
to hold it close once again.

Maybe it’s time to 
surrender metaphor.
Maybe it’s time

to be silent
before our foe and
act, not speak.

Not that it will stop
us, of course, from
wrestling words

as we always do — that would be
like asking us to
not breathe — not that

there’s no precedent
for that in any history
of similar battles — stop 

breathing, poet
has been a war cry

so often on so many fronts —

so perhaps 
we have a place
now, an urgent mission

to be heretical
without blasphemy
and make language over,

to show up
in this battle
with every word we can.

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About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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