November 16, 2014

When I stutter, I am speaking my own language fluently.

The barn owl communicates with its mates and offspring using a complex system of hissing,
squaking, screeching, and facial muscle manipulation
survival is dependent on creating a voice so unique it can be recognized by the loved ones in an instant.


I argue that the cause of my stutter is not neurologic
It's got to be something deeper
something desperate to be remembered
My mouth spit-shines syllables 'till they sparkle
till my voice is the only one like it.
This is not a speech impediment
My voice is an instrument, my stutter its greatest symphony
My speech, composed by God
I buy three grapefruits and I stutter
I study sociology and I stutter
I like tzatziki and I stutter
the staccato of repetition is an unpredictable percussion,
the struggle for every syllable a reminder,
that I have not always had this voice, this stage, a gift of spotlights.
It seems there's a new kind of privilege here,
in being understood the first time.
In breath, calm and measured,stripping speech of nuance
In passing as fluent to spare someone else embarrassment.
For too long I've been afraid of my own name
the word invented only to describe me,
I have let it sit heavy in my throat,
A tool of betrayal.
I introduce myself and I stutter
I am a poet and I stutter
I call my parents and I stutter
I love you and I stutter
I love myself and I stutter.
The stuttering is the most honest part of me,
It is the only thing which never lies
It is how I know I still have a voice,
I'm still being heard, I'm still here.
When I stutter, I am speaking my own language fluently
When I sound like this, I know my loved ones can find me
This is what I sound like when I speak for myself
This is what I sound like,
This is what I sound like!


2 comments:

Tanveer Khan said...

"It seems there's a new kind of privilege here,
in being understood the first time.
In breath, calm and measured,stripping speech of nuance
In passing as fluent to spare someone else embarrassment."

I love this verse and the anger it portrays.

sachin said...

Very original n beautiful...
Dil mange more of it....