careless words

Forgive me for a moment, you see
I forgot how careless words can be
Tossed about like clothes on the floor
You better watch your step when you open your mouth
But while I strip the clothes
The words strip me

And I wonder if animals ever misunderstand one another?
Maybe we’re not primitive after all
Lugging caveman clubs to fight the thesaurus
Beasts of burden to a native tongue
Whose meanings still elude us yet
We yield not with caution to those
interpretations others may carry
Driving our own message home
Only to realize we left behind most precious cargo,
By failing to ask “what do you think?”

Our narcissism and self-confidence takes the wheel
As we orate our pains to ears that have been beaten by the monsters of reckless tongues.
You weren’t watching my face as you made your silly joke
So how could I ever tell you that was exactly what he said as he walked out the door for the last time?
And with that, the opportunity for understanding, for connection, confession, learning, and vulnerability – it is all lost
Simply for the easy price of courtesy laughter at a cocktail party.

your claims to be detail-oriented are
justified in the way you paint your criticism of others whom you’ve looked at once
from a distance but
lay unsubstantiated in your attention to the reactions of others standing loyally beside you

You are a careless talker and I’d damn the person that
encouraged you to speak for the first time
except it’d be a waste of my own breath because
their own ears were probably filled only with
self-appraisal in your first sounds:
“ah, how good a teacher I am.”

So I’ll tighten my jaw muscles a little more stiffly
Countering the slack in your own
Allowing words to fall to the floor and shatter others so easily
They pile around you like discarded magnet poetry and ransom notes
Drowning your image in a stack of heartless syllables, a bed for your ego
But while you sleep tonight
Know that my pen will light flames under your name
And scorn with art at your linguistic abuse
As I burn away the pain into nothing but
Black and white symbols on this blinking lucid screen.

Understand that all words have worth,
Which is why mine
you will

Give Sharkey a piece of your mind.

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