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Lost in Transcription

in Politics by

One must say what one doesn’t want
to hear what one does, one says

while locking oneself inside
the combustion chamber. It turns on

an intensely factual question. Like liquid
hydrogen torqued with androgyny,

one’s just swirling big words around
inside the mouth, one says. When one says

je t’adore, one’s asking for a highbrow-
beating. Yet when one alleges that one

was attacked by a vicious circle, all
one’s verbs suggest conjugation. How

square that circle with fact? Can one
say that, one says? Tell them what crazy

can hear, one says. One says one; one plays
knock-knock under a thumb. One says

shut the door as they blast one’s rocket
into a convoluted inter-galactic passage.

Words are little cages. To fit inside
one must separate oneself, one says.

 


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Joanie Mackowski is the author of View from a Temporary Window and The Zoo. She is a professor at Cornell University.

Image by Nathan Duderstadt.