Word Thief

To Julian
(can I call you Julian?
Mx. Brolaski?
“????? Brolaski?”
In good faith I will call you Julian,
I hope that is ok)

i heard you are lonely
thought i was reading theory
disguised as
with the density
of a baked corn cake
like a kernal about to pop
on the fire

i took
a fine toothed comb thru
yr words and thought
i could crack them like eggs
i put my ear to the paper
and the words hissed at

in yr loneliness
i noticed
wanting to be wanted
and not not wanting to be wanted
as not not not a person

you said
you are not interested
in waiting
to be seen by me
but the nature of
is that it orrsteps
and so you steal what
you are afraid
is not
already yours
the same way that i move

you are word hungry
conjure many magical beasts
gods and goddesses
genders and ungenders
you want to be and are
of a mongrelitude
a self-constitution that
resists assimilation
but is maybe still bitter
or ambivalent
about it

you use older words
so many words
too many words
i have to write a
poem by poem translation
fueled by yr
wandering circumlocution
some dictionaries have already lost
words exploded by
the flame of observation

a nod to Hildegard
prosecuted for
brilliance and
i know you have many mouths
many hands
many feet
in different corners
spread like a tanned skin
who shrivels itself
to spite the hunter

you said
all of our
psychological problems
manifest in writing
but also ask
what if what there was
to record in you
was suthing in you
and i think about
a greeting
a meeting
here where i read
my guts like tea leaves
and write them
from the inkwells
in my eyes
and hope that someone
might find some kinship
or for a moment
see yourself as
you want to be seen

what if i said
this place we meet
on paper
is exactly where we
were meant to*


One thought on “Word Thief

  1. i feel all the confusion that exists in the space between two humans here.
    the second-person “you”s always speak to me, and help me illuminate things in myself that I don’t understand.

    “in yr loneliness
    i noticed
    wanting to be wanted
    and not not wanting to be wanted
    as not not not a person”

    Humanity is hard. Poetry is such a great way of seeing those harder things for what they are, finding a way to navigate them, and you are such a beautiful, precise, raw navigator.


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