An Economy of Language
They wouldn’t even pay him off in pennies,
said his poems wandered far too long:
too many synthesaurus additives,
too many old growth words chopped down.
Strapped him to an ankle monitor
that somehow read his thoughts,
buzzed all night when he tried to sleep
and garnished away his dreams.
Hollow-eyed and somber silent, now,
he hoards his words in a coffee can
buried out back beneath the pine, planted
in days when all the things had many names.
Sometimes he spreads his words out,
arranging them in patterns on the grass,
building shapes of presidents and snakes
before burying them in the earth again,
hidden from the hungry mouths of singers,
linguists and bright-eyed myna birds.
by James Brush