(Clang Association: in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, dissociated ideas conveyed through similar word sounds)
A finch in my chest flinches to get
heard. Wingman sewed it in. I hear
the chi-chuwee chuwee achew in there,
tiny beck beating the big heartbeat.
Mind you, it takes brains to slice
open a hide, scoop out the marble
muscles; craze a rib cage; uncoil
an aorta; slide in a gift like his:
the elf chirruping in my self, itself
elfin (the self's wit-part part want).
Pity I'm not someone else's heart!—
elf elsewhere, another body's grief.
I don't mind my beater's a warbler,
or how in-the-skin is the finch's cry.
Eat sweat, wet seat: its homunculi
pinions ping in a rock tumbler's
cavity. I place my ear to my chest.
Finch-flitters from the solar-plexus,
beaky reminders keep keeping pace.
Oh my minute pecks, tend your nest.
Iris of the one-eyed Satan—see it?
X-ray of a horse pout about to eat me.
Amputee kissing a double amputee.
Exploded nova; no, what an idiot
Steven Cramer's fifth collection, Clangings, will be published in 2012. He directs the low-residency MFA creative writing program at Lesley University.
For Slate's poetry submission guidelines, click spacerhereyeshyperlinkPoetry SubmissionsSlate reads new poems from Oct. 1 to April 30. Manuscripts sent between May 1 and Sept. 30 will not be considered.To submit poems: Send, as a single attached document, up to three poems of no more than 50 lines each to firstname.lastname@example.org. Use the poet's name for the subject line of the e-mail and for the title of the attachment. We prefer Word documents (.doc or .docx) to PDFs.Please include a brief, professional cover letter, including publication history, in the body of your email. Please limit submissions to one per poet per annual reading period. Simultaneous submissions are OK. Slate no longer accepts poetry submissions by mail. The email address email@example.com is for poetry submissions only (or to notify editors of acceptance elsewhere of a poem under consideration at Slate). Other inquiries, etc., will not be addressed.10000false220061444537PMWednesdayJanJanuary161/4/2006 9:45:37 PM63271989937000000020061444537PMWednesdayJanJanuary161/4/2006 9:45:37 PM632719899370000000.Clickhere to visit Robert Pinsky's Favorite Poem Project site.Click here for an archive of discussions about poems with Robert Pinsky in "the Fray," Slate's reader forum.