Plain English is stranded
unsure of itself
at a party
watching Extended Metaphor and Obscurity
across the table
grinning friends
swimming in each other’s liquor laced breath
each goading the other on
to surreptitiously pour
more and more
into Diction’s glass
back and forth on their stools as they
watch her
struggle to keep her composure
she hiccups
and clumsily rushes
to cover her mouth
Diction blushes

Extended Metaphor and Obscurity
turn to each other
gleeful gleaming streams
of yellow laughter escape through the gaps between their fingers
mingling in a tingling singularity
of hilarity

These are a subset of possible instances of communication
that are likely to fail
Or less precisely
these are the things I struggle to communicate
Yet somehow
I expect you to find them
if you carefully comb the voids
between my lines

These are
the tentative struggling
steps of a newborn calf
not graceful enough
to release
from this windowless wooden barn
For I cannot bear another accident
another bone riven
driven though translucent skin

If I wait
until it is ready
it will be
yet another
lumbering blind bull
there will be nowhere
nowhere for it to go

Meanwhile I sit
in my fusty
lightless room
my hunger gnawing at my patience
and eventually I cut
cut my losses
and eat tender veal
as I sit in the gloom
of my fusty
lightless room

These are those
of which I cannot speak
and must pass over in silence
to change my mind years later
their time is gone

And still I expect you to read
what’s written
in a blind man’s handwriting
between my lines

Why even bother at all
when I can smother the scrawl
I call content with form
if content to adorn
blank pages and empty spaces
with similar sounding words
arranged in patterns
changing in paces
like a shifting flock of birds
I can dig myself so deep
that the slope’s too steep
to climb out
and I don’t have the strength
to throw rhyme out
skin’s worn and fists clenched
shirt’s torn and sweat drenched
loose blisters and blood
as I twist in the mud
lunging to the beat
of my spade’s every thud
plunging into peat
I moil in the mud
and I toil in the muck
my spade starts to stick
in clay that’s thick
thick enough to be brick
jolt kick and alarm
as a sawtooth wave
judders up my arm
must be bedrock
but only the dead stop
can’t reach a deadlock
panting in the dim light
my skin-stripped grip
still manages to cling tight
again I fling
my shovel down
I hear a ding
and feel a sting
as it’s flung right back
leaving me stung and slack
but I recoil and redouble
in the soil and the rubble
with every sharp
stroke of my spade
my frayed nerves are flayed
my thoughts disarrayed
but one remains
at the forefront of my brain
I repeat the refrain
that somewhere at the bottom lies
monotony lobotomised
somewhere at the bottom lies
monotony lobotomised
somewhere at the bottom lies
monotony lobotomised


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