Thursday, February 25, 2010

Other Words


In other words, I’m trying to say
what different words
could not convey ;

I get hung up in them a lot -
in words, I mean,
I’m always caught

between the thing I want to shout
and what it is
I stutter out.

In other words, I hoped to show
what different words
don’t seem to know;

they always vow they will express
precisely and
with stylishness

but then they lurch and reel and fall
and snicker from
their languid loll.

In other words, I'm trying to write
what these words here
don’t seem to, quite;

but maybe they’re not made for this -
forget them, then,
and with a kiss

we’ll let them slip and slink away -

I love you more
than words can say.

16 comments:

BloggerMouth said...

I'm crying as I'm writing this. This poem here has stirred something in my heart and it is painfully beautiful. I read this thrice before commenting. My favourite lines:

"In other words, I hoped to show
what different words
don’t seem to know;

they always vow they will express
precisely and
with stylishness

but then they lurch and reel and fall
and snicker from
their languid loll."

I don't know what else to say in my helplessness. I won't do justice to this poem no matter what I say anyway. I am bookmarking this page.

Thank you.

Julie said...

Fantastic! What I really love about this poem is that even though it's about "grasping" for words, all the right words are used in the poem. The flow is excellent, and it portrays the experience so well. We've all been here, right?

My two abso-tudely favorite stanzas are:

I get hung up in them a lot -
in words, I mean,
I’m always caught

between the thing I want to shout
and what it is
I stutter out.

Well, now I contradict myself, because I also love stanzas six and seven, which balance the ones I mention above.

I always think of all the right things to say AFTER the moment is over...haha! But in the poem, I can picture the narrator stammering a bit, maybe red faced, looking at his or her hands. I love the repetition of "in other words," and again, you balance it beautifully in the poem. Then those lovely last two lines come along that say it all.

I enjoyed it very much, Joaquin! Thank you!

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

I agree with Julie, I like how the theme here is the "struggle" with words - but in essence you are commanding them adeptly.
(as usual)

Isn't it true, as your poem illustrates - sometimes words simply fail us, especially when we are hoping they will lift up a moment. However, as you so rightly point out at the end of the poem, SHOW can be just as wonderful as TELL, where love is concerned.

The poem is creative from start to finish. I started copying lines...gave up after I had half copied - so here is a stanza that I particulary admire.

but then they lurch and reel and fall
and snicker from
their languid loll.

Love all the "L" sounds and the rhythm of it - and the word choices! ;)

Nevine said...

Joaquin, the simplicity of this poem is beyond what "I'm trying to say". Okay? I love that it is simple, and shows our stutters and jerks and stops with language. Sometimes we try to make too much out of what we want to say, to overly decorate the cake. Your simple words suffice. And you never "lurch and reel and fall"... that is for sure.

I also like the rhythm... almost like a song. Very nice... Really!

Nevine

Karen said...

Awwww! I just love this poem. Entirely.

Since I'm here after Julie and Kay, I could just say, read them and yes, yes.

I will mention, though, that the tone of this is exceptional! The speaker's contradictions of intention and ability, coupled with the rhythm and rhyme, lend a feeling of hesitancy and insecurity on the part of the speaker. Because of this, the piece feels playful, as if a bashful beau is holding his hands behind his back and twisting his foot while avoiding his girlfriend's eyes. I don't know if that picture makes any sense to you, but it shows me a lovable, endearing speaker.

I love this.

catvibe said...

This is lovable for sure. Mostly because I feel this way so much when I try to speak. Writing is easier, but words just disappear sometimes, don't they? They can't grasp the depth of what you feel, and just saying I love you doesn't always cut it. Excellent in its bumbling around trying to get it right.

Jannie Funster said...

Fly me to the moon....

In other words, your poem, a song yes, but so much more.

In other words... Joaquin keeps on shining.

xo

Sarah Hina said...

I'll leave uncertainty at the door for a change and just say it--this is my favorite poem of yours.

There are feelings that run too deep and sweet for words. Fumbling them (though, in truth, you master them) is a beautiful proof of that. But those last two lines, coming after the acknowledgment and kiss-off of the tangled tongue, were among the purest expressions of love I've ever read. They went right through me. Like the deep silence after a song.

Take a bow. :)

Aniket said...

This beats Simpleton and Frederick Darling to gain the top spot on my list too.

I'll borrow this one of yours the next time I find myself in that helpless situation. And I know, I will land up there again. :)

Thank you so much for this.

RachelW said...

Sweet!

Silly Girl said...

no words.
I'll just leave a...
kiss!

. said...

Loved the flow of the poem.
And the ending is beautiful.
:)

Moanerplicity said...

it is sometimes difficult to articulate the language of the heart and the lyrics of the soul... but you, my friend, appear to have this permanent pen attached to your viscera.

One.

Little Girl Lost said...

its been five months since i last read anything by you. i had nearly forgotten how breathtaking it could be. i love you joaquin, more than this comment can say.
me, i'm trying to re-learn to write. maybe i'll be able to, someday soon...

joaquin carvel said...

blo-mo - i'm not sure what to say besides thank you - and i'm glad this stirred something beautiful.

julie - me too - i always think of what to say the next day. thank you!

k. - thank you - you're right, sometimes show is better than tell. :)

nevine - "overly decorate the cake" - exactly! thank you.

karen - makes perfect sense - i'm glad you find it endearing, as it can also be frustrating, but "hesitancy and insecurity" is right. thank you.

cat - i agree - writing is easier - or at least there's less pressure. thank you - i guess the best we can do is keep trying.

jannie - :) thank you - i should have thought of that song as i was writing this but didn't - but you know. words - slippery things.

sarah - i think it was ferlinghetti who wrote "the act of love is its own adequate eloquence" - but that never stopped anyone from trying. thank you.

aniket - thank you. i'm sure you will find yourself there again - and by all means, have at it - most of us need all the help we can get. :)

rachel - thank you!

sg - that's perfect! thank you.

dot - thanks for dropping in - glad you liked it.

lin - forgive me, it's been too long - so good to hear from you - thank you - your words always lift me.

lgl - thank you - i hope it's soon - i know i'm one of many who has missed you.

maaga..... said...

i tend to stutter now more than anything, it's depressing but refreshing to read that sometimes the most eloquent words and reflections of feelings can be said in the most simplest of ways and have the very same effect...

...thank you.