The Burden of Dumah
The angel of silence wants to talk,
to spill, to spew, exclaim, harangue.
The angel of silence wants to utter,
to mutter, finger-gun, to balk,
shout Bang! or Fire! into a crowd.
The angel of silence wants a voice
that soothes, that moves, persuades, entreats.
The angel wants to live aloud,
to gab and chatter, cant and banter,
to allude, imply, to prattle,
colloquize and pitch, to vent, to yak,
confide, to spill the beans, enchant,
insinuate. He wants to drone,
reveal, pronounce, to trash-talk, stump
and spout, to rhapsodize, to flap
his tongue, to gossip, prate, intone,
to parlez vous. The angel tired
of the quiet-down, the shushing,
hushing up, the tranquilize, the still,
the calm, the lull – he wasn’t hired
for this, he’s wont to say but will
not say. Do not speak ill of him.
He lets the wind speak in his place.
He’d rather be invisible.
Patty Seyburn has published four books of poems: Perfecta (What Books Press, 2014), Hilarity (New Issues Press, 2009), Mechanical Cluster (Ohio State University Press, 2002) and Diasporadic (Helicon Nine Editions, 1998). She is an Associate Professor at California State University, Long Beach and co-editor of POOL: A Journal of Poetry (www.poolpoetry.com).