Links to poems, writing & interviews
Ode to FOXP2
–a gene with essential roles in vocalization, speech, and language.
The songbird’s glyph is thumbtack-sized but glowing.
Scroll up, scroll down: warbler, thrush, the common crow,
Each asserting its location & intentions from a speaker
Greatly miniaturized & embedded in the phone
Beside the purse on the restaurant table: an app
The woman shows the man as their chopsticks
Address the Amazing Roll: North American Songbirds,
Every species. Coo-coo- ri. Tchoo-Tchoo- arah. A hyoid bone
Unearthed in Sinai proves Neanderthal was capable of full
Human speech. So the man is mouthing aah; the woman’s
Stockinged foot slithers up the inside of his thigh. Here I
Am: pinpoint my location. My plumage my plumage.
Neckwear fashioned of patterned silk. Cleavage, fishnet
& red stiletto, upturned on a bistro carpet: lips ensanguined,
Hazed with gloss coo-coo- ri. Utter & call your way to
Thy plumage. Yellowfin aslather with wasabi. Napkin
To his mouth, the man sighing aah. Aaah & aah to be
Continued. The hyoid delicate & avian, vibrating
Its own corporeal cry of middle C, enabling Deborah Harry
From a speaker in the ceiling to bemoan her heart of glass,
Replaced by Big Joe Turner gutteral-ing “Honey Hush”—
C’mon inna this house an’ stop that Yakety-Yak, enabling
The concept of glyph, wasabi, stiletto heel, of the heart
Likened to a towel-shrouded wineglass stomped upon
Beneath the canopies at Jewish weddings. Enabling--
Anno Domini --the concept of 1952. The one a stick-thin Giacometti
Man & the nine just a boy, encephalitic head bent down
No doubt in sorrow though the five will soon give birth
To twins, one to die in utero. & now the caboose of two,
Rearing swan, all serpent neck & hiss. Coo-coo- ri, Sing, cuccu.
Lhude sing cuccu. Sumer is i-cumen in. Sumer sumer 1952: Sir Hilary
& forgotten Sherpa scaling Everest & Watson
& Crick unraveling lo the trellised vine of DNA & Michael Ventris,
After 17 years of labor, identifying Linear B
As an early form of Greek—enabling time travel,
Though the House of the Past is jugs of oil,
Oxen in the stables of King Minos, a bill of sale for 18
Cypriot slaves. My plumage my plumage, coo-coo- ri,
Yellowfin wasabi & Yakety Yak o yes o yes o good good good.
My father setting a thin black platter
On a whirling disk to hear Roy Acuff tell a beautiful
Thought concerning The Great Speckled Bird. I am glad
To know my name is recorded. He lhude sing is seeing
The old year out & foxtrotting with my mother, having
Ripped December-- one & nine & five & two–
From a shotgun apartment kitchen wall. My plumage my plumage.
My heart of glass, my early form of Greek a howl
Uttered nine months later to the day inside
The concept of Miller Hospital, shining on a hill atop
The concept of St. Paul, Minnesota, House of the Past.
Hyoid, hyoid. Lhud Sing. Here I am Lord Won’t You
Send Me. My plumage my plumage amen.