James Merchant


Incomprehensible Babble - Poem by James Merchant

If I could make the sound of tiny raindrops
Would you be a better audience
I could nail your ear to a rose
I suppose

And these swords I swallow are nice and clean
I wash them in kerosene
I could pull a stunt like that
Then I'd just lean, front or back

The Devil's outside he's dancing on his tongue
While the lamb is slowly bleeding
I'm a canary
In January

And mutton is mutton and that is flesh
So sew me an arm and a new haircut
Mutton is mutton and that is flesh
Nobody wants a new haircut

I'm the only barber in town
I nicked my scalp


Comments about Incomprehensible Babble by James Merchant

  • (9/24/2014 12:10:00 AM)


    You've caught the modernist spirit. Except the title. A true modernist would call it something profound - never admit it was Babel. Maybe Catfish. Or Twelve Nights on a Bend.

    A bit more seriously - but not much. I like the way you play with sounds. The only line that rings false to me is this one:

    Then I'd just lean, front or back

    It over-rhymes, or rhymes too soon, too insistently. And it chops. O/w great babble! !
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 7, 2012



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