Accent/Paul Guest


Werner Herzog, I'm trying to speak like you,
though outside autumn wildly arcs
and the Alps are only a word I have
loved a long time. Tired is not
what I want my body to be
but a mist above snow. So I'm pretending
this Teutonicism. Jackhammers
through lake ice. Rabid flocks
of woodpeckers immune
to migraine but not so much hunger.
Last week I learned this,
that recycled glass has a name.
That it's cullet. I thought of Faulkner,
his mongrel personae. Which
is to say I thought of
suffering and fire and the south,
to which I am speaking
like a fool. Amused in my flesh,
even by my flesh, though
lovers never laughed. Sighed appropriately,
called out, murmurations
and writhing. In my mouth
I held them as well. All of you,
come back, my nerves seem
to clearly say, though mumbling
I've said the direst things
or stopped one at my door
in muslim dreams, her body specked
with paint. Longer still
won't you stay is what I meant though
what I said I cannot say.

-- Paul Guest, from My Index of Slightly Horrifying Knowledge


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