Charlie Greg Sark

A gift of Island poetry | curated by Deirdre Kessler

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that poem
written twenty—
… no,
it was eighteen years

That poem,
I wrote it for harper
and I called it
enemy tongues.

Here, the words are not exact
that’s history’s rogue play, after all
to insist that words be exact
words should never be exact
because exact words
serve to weaken our perception
exact words
serve to soften the violence
exact words
hide their destruction
this word history stutters
it is inherent in enemy tongue,
the stutter
slithering in its colonialism
inherent in itss democracy
hissing in itsss corporations

I have observed
how the muscle in
your tongue forms
this exacting hate

I know that hate shape
all too well
I know that
as the muscles contract they
shape lies and deception
not truth and honesty
I know that
as they relax,
the enemy’s tongue muscles
land violent blows
rip open flesh
crack bone
instead of shaping a soft place
to land and heal
I know that
this lie
and this hate
and this violence
pour out of your arid lungs,
propelled forward
by a demonic breath
reeking of destruction
this is your
sociopathological chorus of delusion
that enemy tongue learned
it taught itself to stretch and grow
it taught itself to exercise, to
build mass
and then it wrapped itself
around my throat
so completely
so circuitously

I believed that
this was the norm
but this is not the norm
no, this is your normal
the norm that
enables enemy tongue
the norm that
encourages enemy tongue
the norm that
is enemy tongue

Note: the see in see-e-ooh is from
the C,
as in “We see you, CEO.”


—Charlie Greg Sark. Additional poems are found in Kitpu Apetket. Saturday Morning Chapbooks, Third Series, No. 3, 2005.

Deirdre Kessler selects a poem a month by an Island poet for The Buzz.

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