Copyright 1997 Mercury Coyote

Poetic License

By Mercury Coyote

      Words
      and more words
      filled the world
      with discourse
      diatribe
      and declarations.

      Would there be
      no end
      of words
      with lack
      of meaning
      and mean
      babble
      blabbing
      forth
      senseless monologues
      in endless harangues
      and lollygagging
      in the dark?

      I set forth
      in search
      of a place
      devoid
      of such blathering
      twaddles
      of words.

      Toward
      the city gates
      I flew
      in search
      of a peace
      without words
      I knew
      existed
      beyond
      the glum
      of endless
      civilized
      chatter.

      On the way
      there were
      guards of words
      guards of gossip
      guards of gibber
      and guards of jabber.

      Is it the
      Katzenjammer kids
      you want
      to chat with?
      said one
      of the guards
      in mutterance
      forthwith.

      I'm just trying
      to find
      a place
      of peace
      without
      the confabulated
      loquations
      the cackled
      recitations
      and chattered
      reservations
      I said
      in my search
      of peace
      without words.

      Do I need
      a pass
      to get beyond
      this land
      of buzzing
      befuddlement?

      Where are your papers?
      said the man
      of lawful
      words
      whose articulation
      and revelation
      of his communication
      conveyed
      not
      a bit
      of wit
      in his ranting
      forth
      of demands
      for a license
      to hold
      forth
      in discourse.

      I insisted
      I needed
      no
      such license.

      Neither
      did I need
      his protracted
      blabbering
      in spoken words
      about written words
      on licensed words
      of permission
      to prattle forth
      with words
      lacking meaning
      lacking depth
      and lacking
      even
      a modicum
      of humanity
      or sanity.

      You have
      no license
      to create
      words
      of elocution?
      asked
      the man
      of idle talk.

      I need
      no
      idle talk
      to question
      my expression
      I said
      to this
      word guard
      whose guardedness
      had so
      constricted
      his mind
      and convoluted
      his sputtering
      that his stammering
      and hammering
      on the license
      for words
      conveyed
      utterances
      long
      and utterances
      that belong
      to days
      of constricted thought
      regulated talk
      outlawed expression
      and outdated confession.

      You wouldn't
      be
      practicing
      poetry
      without
      a license
      would you?
      said the gateman
      protecting
      society
      from those
      who think
      for those
      who think
      they think
      when in reality
      their thoughts
      conveyed
      in words
      become
      the restriction
      of all
      the constriction
      in pretention
      of thought
      beyond
      words
      behind
      laws
      before
      guards
      of words
      whose demand
      for papers
      with words
      convey
      no more
      thought
      nor value
      of converse
      than the dignity
      of communion
      it's supposed
      to protect.

      I don't have
      a license
      to practice
      poetry
      I said
      in declaration
      of my cause
      of poetic
      pertinence.

      But I do
      have
      a poem
      to practice
      license
      I said
      to my consternated
      opponent
      whose society
      he's trying
      to protect
      is no more
      poetic
      nor
      protected
      than their laws
      pertaining
      to the proper
      proliferation
      of poetry.

      What do you
      expect
      to find
      beyond these gates?
      asked the man
      of idle thought
      of imagined stature
      and fallacious talk.

      I expect
      to find
      the absence
      of idle talk
      the disappearance
      of invaded
      words
      and a rest
      from legislated
      voice.

      You won't
      find
      that
      out there
      said the uniformed
      enforcer
      of conferred chat
      whose chittering
      and chattering
      were as cold
      and regulated
      as an oration
      on dictation
      dictated
      by a robot
      retarded
      in grace
      and retracted
      in face
      of all
      that is worthy
      of integral
      discourse.

      We've extended
      our laws
      of words
      as far
      as the mind
      can convey
      thought
      said the man
      whose alleged
      thought
      pretended
      to convey
      thought
      about regulating
      thought
      lacking
      all such
      thought
      it was thought
      to protect.

      He added
      furthermore
      that his rules
      of nevermore
      would ensure
      the safety
      of all
      those locked
      in the land
      of loveless
      lore
      and keep
      communication
      safe
      from all those
      whose elocution
      threatens those
      whose evolution
      is guarded
      by the word
      police
      appointed
      as they are
      to keep
      the mind
      in check
      ready
      to arrest
      those
      whose words
      and ideas
      would cause
      folk
      to express
      on their own
      without
      the written
      permission
      of controllers
      of words.

      Pray
      tell me
      I said
      to the man
      of little thought
      if your land
      is so regulated
      if the
      words
      are so negulated
      why are there
      so many
      words
      of commerce
      invading
      my privacy
      demanding
      my attention
      and offering me
      products
      I don't want
      services
      I can't use
      in an assault
      on my aesthetic
      sensibilities
      with an avalanche
      of words
      so unrelenting
      it boggles
      the chance
      to answer
      back?

      Oh
      this
      is the price
      we must pay
      said the enforcer
      of words
      in a voice
      reminiscent
      of totalitarian
      regimes
      bent
      on the collection
      of words
      whose meaning
      and power
      have lost
      their intent
      having bent
      their entire
      force
      toward enforcement
      of all
      that is communicated
      for those
      holding
      the power
      while withholding it
      from those
      who don't.

      This
      is the price
      we must pay
      he said
      for living
      in a society
      whose goal
      is to protect
      commerce
      from those
      who would put
      a higher value
      on expression
      over livelihood.

      Why
      pray tell me
      I said
      in my perturberance
      must you put
      such value
      on words
      of commerce
      over words
      of thought
      on words
      of lucre
      over words
      of soul
      on words
      of wealth
      over words
      of love
      on words
      of greed
      over words
      of life?

      You speak
      too many words
      said the man
      of regulated
      words.

      I speak
      to preserve
      what is left
      of truth
      I said
      to the man
      whose words
      of law
      would drown
      out
      words
      of all
      that is worthy
      of pronouncing
      words
      of meaning
      words
      of depth
      and words
      of soul.

      I'm afraid
      you'll have
      to come
      with me
      said the man
      of simple
      words.

      I'm afraid
      you'll have
      to listen
      to my words
      said I
      to the man
      who despised
      words.

      Tell me
      where
      the words
      are stored
      I asked
      the man
      of force.

      I'll have
      to force you
      to come
      with me
      said the man
      at a loss
      for words.

      Your words
      are not safe
      said the man
      whose force
      of will
      knew not
      the will
      of words
      nor the words
      of force
      beyond
      his limited
      force
      and his limited
      understanding
      of law
      license
      and elocution.

      You'll have
      to come
      with me
      said the man
      of regulated
      thought.

      You'll have
      to watch
      me flee
      said I
      in thought
      of his regulation.

      You'll have
      to curb
      your tongue
      said the man
      of law.

      You'll have
      to tongue
      your curb
      said I
      in defense
      of words
      without law.

      He came
      at me
      with force
      uttering words
      of law
      words of power
      and words
      of contempt
      for words.

      I said
      here's a word
      you haven't heard
      man of law
      whose mind
      is raw.

      I tripped
      his step
      in his enforcement
      and he lay
      in the dirt
      of his word
      regulated
      town.

      I gave him
      words
      to comfort
      his troubled
      soul
      in confusion
      of words.

      Words
      are eternal
      I said
      as he lay
      in the gravel
      of his grovel.

      But law
      is infernal
      I added
      to his consternation
      and regulation
      in his dusty
      dirt
      of despair.

      And I left him
      lying
      there.