From Clangings

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Jan. 4 2011 6:54 AM

From Clangings

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear Steven Cramer read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

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(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