Today's poem is by Mitchell Metz
Brought to You by the Letter Ox , Or: Why I Want my Son to Remain Illiterate
The letter A probably started as a pictogram of an ox head in Egyptian hieroglyphs. Wikipedia
We took the ox from Egypt
stout hieroglyph, meat of its own meaning
and yoked it to the tongue's plow. We ex-
traded eye and horn,
stood the beast on its head.
Now it's just a steer plodding
muscle's memory through the ABCs.
We furrow our little forties, cultivate code
in emblem's loam. As stewardship of the soil pre-
sumes possession, so we farm objects
with implements of sound, appropriate them,
lay away their fruit in our lexical silos. It rots.
Experience becomes the glottal, sibilant,
fricative constituents we assign it.
Not to mention labial.
A little boy is driven
to engage his world,
to meet it 1/2
way w/ symbol
& so multiply
himself x it.
ure, fact, novelty
he furiously records
on green construction paper.
He devises means
to represent, no, to trans-
port every thing
until his planar paper burps bulges.
He dons goggles, bike helmet
as if to be conscious is to
crash into stuff. Would Blake
be begoggled, too? Carry back-
pack? (Inside: plenty of water, folder
of green construction paper, glue, scissors,
the divine). O!
ver time discovers what Blake
never did: he's a dork.
Jettisons the gog-
Gee, we're proud as he plods through Seuss.
He will eat God in a box. He will eat God without ox.
Copyright © 2007 Mitchell Metz All rights reserved
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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