After Babel people speak as if what they said

were an imitation of themselves saying what

they say.  Not insincere, but knowing a thing said

is all there is now, a sound they hope stands for what

they mean or want or where they hurt.  Like what Jeff said

in his HookMeUp profile: I want to know what

the real thing’s like.  But Jeff’s missed the memo, which said

the real thing from here on is a word thing, is what

we’re meant to hear, a thing about which the more said

the better, or more bitter, depending on what

your real thing is or isn’t.  But that being said,

or having sounded like something one might say, what

to do with these washed-ashore dead, of whom it’s said

they’re real and mean something, but we’ve not been told what?



Steven Reese’s most recent book of poems is Excentrica: Notes on the Text (BlazeVOX, 2017).  He teaches at Youngstown State University in Ohio, and in the Northeast Ohio MFA program.


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