Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Scumble

What if I were turned on by seemingly innocent words such as
   "scumble," "pinky,"

or "extrapolate?"  

What if I maneuvered conversation in the hope that others would
   pronounce these words?  

Perhaps the excitement would come from the way the other person
   touched them lightly and carelessly with his tongue.  

What if "of" were such a hot button?

"Scumble of bushes."

What if there were a hidden pleasure
in calling one thing
by another’s name?

Credit


Copyright © 2006 by Rae Armantrout. Appears with permission of the author.

Author


Rae Armantrout

Rae Armantrout was born in Vallejo, California, in 1947, and was part of the first generation of Language poets on the West Coast. She is the author of Partly: New and Selected Poems, 2001–2015 (Wesleyan University Press, 2016); Itself (Wesleyan University Press, 2015).

Date Published: 2006-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/scumble