by Sonya Taaffe



For Robert P. Beveridge


            “Why hasn’t the poetry revolution happened yet?”

                        —The Return of the Muse




            This revolution writes itself. Composed

            not of students lounging among secondhand

            books and cinderblock shelves, smoking

            through thumbtacked drywall to the world

            the senses coil beneath, all visionaries

            and sullen eremites, no single hand

            nor manifold inscribed the fire, the ink,

            the rainbow earthed at head and heels—

            turn over a cobblestone. Meandering

            as snail-tracks, the glisten of granite

            twined with dactyls and a falling spondee.

            Peel back a cuff of birch bark, milky

            and charred, to decode with fingertips

            its haiku in braille. A spurl of rockweed

            swirls iambic over sun-glitter, anchored

            where limpets dot-dash a broken quatrain.

            A cigarette butt, a choriamb’s last stress.

            There are sapphic stanzas in the lacunae

            of day-glo tag art. Pen an alluding sonnet,

            scribbler; confess your sins in staccato.

            By the time this revolution can be claimed

            and named, the anatomist’s scalpel drips

            sepia, aniline, iron gall—the flesh

            made word. The writing is the wall.



About the Author:

Sonya Taaffe has a confirmed addiction to myth, folklore, and dead languages. Her poem “Matlacihuatl’s Gift” shared first place for the 2003 Rhysling Award, and poems and short stories of hers have been been nominated for the Gaylactic Spectrum Award, the Pushcart Prize, and the Locus Award, shortlisted for the SLF Fountain Award, and honorably mentioned in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. A respectable amount of her short fiction and poetry can be found in Postcards from the Province of Hyphens and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books). She holds a master's degree in Classical Studies from Brandeis University and has done graduate work at Yale University.


Poem © 2008 Sonya Taaffe.