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.