Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Chew Your Words

Risible syllables, oracular spectacles,
and vivid vineyard spectra: the mouth
is mouthing words like lozenges today.

The tongue's a dancing master that
undulates the floor, making phonemes
and morphemes stagger in chaography,

salubriously salivaed. Enjoy your words
today, my friends who are strangers,
inveterate re-arrangers.  Roll them

around, chew 'em up, wad them in a cheek,
let them drool out then suck them back.
Open your mouth and take a peek:

nothing there but air, ivory, red-pink
cave-walls, and that writhing slug
of a mischievous tongue:

connoisseur, conductor, meaning-
                                           making muscle.


hans ostrom 2016
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