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Words, words, words

   for Alex


There is a list of things that one must never do while

striving to become a member of the Hall of Fame

and you can aim me in your sights Confabulo

for I’m as much an ardent sinner, syllable spinner,

just as much involved with all those verbose images,

encyclopedias, libraries of eloquence and froth as you.


Perhaps we should have been born female (there’s a

thought). For women, with their slim and urgent explorations,

probe with tender fingers all the real stuff inside, and yes,

they’re not afraid, as we are, to touch each other too (with

daggers sometimes drawn so tenderly) and then embossing

something of their inner world onto their songs.


You want a list of my attempts, my friend? I’ve made

my own mistakes, they’re in my books (as they’re in

your’s). Just turn the pages. Here and there there’s

one that shines with honesty and then it disappears

again into the soup.


What’s left is just the bones of some devoured chicken.

Before the meal, clucking and cackling, strutting around

the yard, pecking for worms and words. Never really

able to stretch its wings and fly.


We’re coxcombed Walla-walla birds, Confabulo,

you and I, that’s all.


     The Australian Walla-walla bird flies round and round

     in ever decreasing concentric circles until it eventually

     disappears into itself.

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© Johnmichael Simon



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