by Thomas Mar Wee
“Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”
— Ludwig Wittgenstein
I climb daily
in the crater of language
Desiring sentences that are like
shafts of light
cutting through densest fog
Words hard & razor sharp
like iron — hot from the anvil.
Instead, I worry my molars
gargling phonemes, I spit
blood and call it
(and all of us the poorest players)
Silence is always an option — yes
But muteness its own kind of speech
And most of us do not have
The fortitude for silence
So instead each day
the muck of conversation.
I pull on my boots,
and wade in
to dip my net
into the Great Stream of Utterances
Each poet has considered silence.
Has weighed the blank page
And all its implications
Only to chose our thinest, paltriest
Language. Returning to it, at first, like the jilted lover
but eventually greeting it
with inky lips:
Each word written— a joyous refusal
This poem originally appeared in Quarto.