Sunday, July 25, 2010

Readings of This Poem Aloud

Shortly after this post, Carl recorded himself reading this poem (aloud, of course)!  Listen to him read the original or listen to a fun, artistic "double reading".

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Read a Poem



do not read a loud

staticky public service announcement

—as though its only aspiration was to be a broadcast,

like it was raised by a pack of HEY-YOU!'s

in a spit-molding megaphone.


Do not read a poem

like a hot lunch menu—

    Creamed Turkey

    With Mashed Syllables


    And Canned Metaphor

(Now raise your hand if you thought the imagery was dry.)


I don't know what you've been told,

but a poem is not the IBM Financial Statement of 1995.

Or the Encyclopedia Britannica entry on Killer Whales

you used for your fourth-grade science report.


A poem

is a looooooooonnnnnnngggg word to massage your ear,

the sound between this breath and the next,

the space between your eyelashes or your two front teeth—

a gap in time so full it can't be pushed shut.


Read a poem aloud—yes, read it aloud—

but don't rattle-tattle-prattle

or flick-a-lick-a-tick it.


A poem

should be held and savored,

    like the last of your European chocolates

    that you hold in your mouth until

    it dissolves by itself.


And after it's gone,

    you do not brush your teeth,

    you do not drink your coffee.

You lick the wrapper,

    You hold your taste buds still

    so they will be sure to remember.


A poem should be

greeted "Good morning,"

    and invited over for dinner

    (and perhaps also for dessert,

    just in case it thinks of more to say.)


And ssssssssssswwwwwwooooooooooonnnned,

And cccrrrrroooooooooooonnnned,

     (and tuned),

     And caressed,

And humored,

And savored.

And spoken.

And heard.

     And read.