Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Punctuation Meditation


////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
*
*
*
*
*
*
Punctuation Meditation
*
*
The exclamation point isn't a point. It's a line and
a point together--a verticle board photographed
in air just above a soccer ball. The period is a
point, but a point's not a period any more than
a day is an era. A dash doesn't move, so it should
change its name. "Super-comma" is a
more marketable name for the semi-colon,
especially since a period is half a colon, whereas
a semi-colon is a leaking point. What
*
does a sickle hanging above a dot have to do
with questions? When words want to pretend
they're not there, they hide between brackets,
but nobody's fooled. When they want to whisper,
they pull parentheses close like curtains, but
everybody can hear. The slash lived in obscurity
for centuries. Lots of marks did. Then came
computers. Now every squiggle and scratch
is a celebrity living in hypertext. How weird, period.
*
Copyright 2009 Hans Ostrom
Post a Comment