Typewriter Series #682as read by me,Tyler Knott Gregson
*When I wrote this one, I heard it in my head before I typed it on the typewriter. I needed to hear it read aloud, so I did. This is the first time I’ve ever read one of my own poems to post, and I hate the sound of my voice, so it will probably be the last. Nevertheless, this is more or less how I heard it when it wrote itself in my noggin.*
His voice. For once.
I look back at you, staring.
Oh, dear god you are beautiful,
and I silently scream:
like a broken record,
and I wonder what
you are thinking
when you stare,
that you won’t say out loud…
but my tongue feels too heavy,
and my mouth won’t form the
What? You question,
as the seconds hang in the air,
like minutes on a clock.
as I swallow the truth,
like a lump in my throat.
You’ve taken so much from me.
I used to be able to lose myself
in thoughts of the ocean, or the sky
at sunrise or sunset, you know?
how the light is then? so beautiful,
so unpredictable. Now I can’t think
of the ocean without tasting the salt
on your skin, still wet from the water.
I can’t watch the sunrise without wanting
to curl myself around you back in bed,
and sunsets… fuck you. Sunsets drag me
off the side of the road with wanting you
in the back seat in the breakdown lane,
or on the hood on some country road.
You’ve taken so much from me,
and every day I love you taking more,
linking more of everything to you
until I can’t think of anything, anything
but how to love you with it even more.
In an effort to get people to look
into each other’s eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.
When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.
Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.
When she doesn’t respond,
I know she’s used up all her words,
so I slowly whisper I love you
thirty-two and a third times.
After that, we just sit on the line
and listen to each other breathe.
… to have kissed
your mouth with the force of language,
to have spoken your name at all.
Greg Watson, from “Now" in The Distance Between Two Hands (March Street Press, 2008)