Crab Orchard Review Vol 9 No 1 W/S 2004

Page 192

Neil Shepard

Oh! On an April Morning,

I’m ready to murder the flowers. The allnight wordfest, verbal festschrift— which, notice, I do not hyphenate because Coleridge warns us against invented compounds bound by hyphens— left me in some indeterminate schwa of sleeplessness, neither long on yawns nor persnickety and testy, but stunned, stoned, seemingly systematically taken apart by human sounds—verbs, nouns, the little modifiers, expletives, pronominals, signs and referents, all, all part of human grammar (that thing I love) and “human drama” (that thing I hate) which kept me listening, listening for their rhetorical flourishes— lean in for the sweet sotto voce, then gradually lean out for the rising tonal babel, snickers, snorts, giggles and guffaws, interrogatory, exclamatory, imperative, imperious, ablative, declarative, hortatory, denunciatory, importuning, simpering, sniveling, wheedling, whining, oh!— it kept me up all night, allnight long while the flowers closed their ears and slept. I’ll murder them! I will!

178 ◆ Crab Orchard Review

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