A while back I tried to write some poems that were more interested in sound than sense. I wanted the words to blend, bend, run together and break apart without worrying overly much about whether they meant anything. I have a tendency to belabor sense in a poem, so this was an attempt to steer in the opposite direction. The following smashed-up poems were the only ones I liked:

Myambassadorlawyer wears silk slippers
when he passes out treats,
Has ample smiles when he sues for peace,
Paces late nights in the embassy
to save my bacon,
Speeches midday at soirees
for ladies of the UN.
OhMyambassadorlawyer seldom sleeps


gags on his teeth,
Coughs up cover ups,
Unhusbands covenants ,
An’ hiccups
Oh yes, myadjunctgulagcarbuncleuncle
Gets played for keeps.

I am all daylistly until you enter
And then, in a minaswept,
We are shincircled:
You say in pulldescent of heatpulled hands:
Moanfocused, grippingwhite,
Until we are again succumbered
And love, not-gone-we-by,
One smileinsatiable.

The first expressed little more than a desire to contrast some slippery M's and S's with some staccato G's and K's. The second was an attempt to make words melt into each other like lovers. I suppose these aren't meaningless poems, but meaning wasn't what they were after. It's funny but if you start messing around with sounds, meaning more or less shows up on its own, which reminds me of another scrap of my collected literary detritus:

When it comes to verse,
Some say conceit
And some say sound,
And, worse, some say
Sound-alone's conceited
Or conceit alone
Form follows function
And function cries out for existence.
Each may bless his brother
(But only if you're gifted).


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