Alison Rosalie

Rookie (March 12,1991 / Regina, SK)

Yeesh - Poem by Alison Rosalie

i began
insignificant and small;
brainless as an egg,
my tongue clumsily trying to tie
simple strings of sound into coherent speech
the first time i raised it to speak.

i started like
a spot,
a speck,

the smallest of starmatter cells,
a moon sliver,
a hint of a thin shimmering glint
duplicating its slim glimmer
into a pond glazed over
as a wandering set of eyes.

like evolution, time rocked me in its tide
and i began a cellular development
as the sun reflected more intensely,
my moon beams bouncing brighter
against the churning river,
turning over water into waves
where i began to pick up whispers of words,
clumsily collecting small sections of speech,
speckles of definitions,
subtle syllables
to vomit my songs.

i glided along, gracefully, gurgling a growing verse,
until the bubbles were bloating in my rupturing lungs,
as i danced lividly against the rocky, ragged riverbed
and floated slowly with the current,
each wondered of word rising upwards
like blundering, blabbering bubbles
popping up against the surface and making a scene.

i began
irrelevant and underdeveloped;
senseless as a seed,
my tongue clumsily trying to tie
simple strings of sound into coherent speech
the first time i raised it to speak.

so i strained it, made it sway from side to side,
pushed it, popped it up and clicked it down
until every sound had subsided
in the stretching memory of my mouth
and i could call upon each one at ease.
they started coming when summoned,
obediently submissive when sent for,
lining up in perfect order and pouring,
as if choreographed, from my jaws.

but oh a faint problem arose,
i began to notice,
as my knowledge began to grow,
slight burps of words fizzing from my throat
when my lips were clenched closed.
and soon,
the foam thickened viciously
and soon,
they started marching
in a colorful, uncoordinated crowd
up my airway, into the hollow of my mouth,
where they would rap and bang against my teeth
until i unhinged and set them free and let them
boil out in boisterous bubbles,
bragging in blatant conceit
of all the clever sentences
they’d strewn together.

“what, ” i bewilderedly inquired,

“what exactly are you saying, speech,
bragging of the language you spit?
for it is i and i alone who speaks
so cleverly these syllable structures!

and tell me,
why can’t i keep you, my words,
right where you belong:
in the confines of my rhymes,
at beck and call in my mind!

speech, so limitless and exquisite,
you’re mine, you’re mine,
i’m the one who
carefully crafts you,
now why cannot
i control you? ”

and from the back of my throat
came a wry, bubbling buzz to me:

“oh, what a fool,
what ignorant intellect.

i am language, premade
liberated like language
should at all times be;
oh can’t you see, can’t you see
you never invented me,
you only spoke copies
plucked, plagiarized, from
poems and dictionaries;
i am speech, beautiful speech
a set of symbols spoken
to express yourself poetically,
but you, you are just tongue
and teeth to speak me.

so, no, do not talk big because
you arrange me in pretty patterns;
do not brag of your beautiful language
just because you can babble it.
shout it honestly, modestly
as some antique family heirloom.
oh use me at your ease,
tell the world the words
just, if i may ask, oh please
express yourself with me
beautifully but boastlessly.

you use the words,
you do not
produce the words.”

oh, and, i began
brainless as an egg,
insignificant and small –
and even as i gathered a flourishing basket of terms,
i remained that way, without a brain, until i learned
it was not my brilliance that made the beauty
but the endless expanse of evocative words.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, January 25, 2010

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