Rules is rules

By | 1 February 2020

I started with an interesting title
to hook the reader in
added a bit of magic twisting balloon giraffes,
inspecting ice
in Montreal waiting for the seal to gasp
I learned that taxidermists
prefer the term mounting over stuffing;
and realistic dialogue,
like “Oh!” and “no thank you”
occurs when offered a cinnamon oyster

or the way out.

I remembered to show, not tell.

I gave hints,
hid clues in the third drawer down and under stones,
waited for the smoke to rise in letters
that spelt my truth sold secrets in the souk
amongst sacks of turmeric and cumin
stuck notes like grillchecks on a narwal horn,

against the harbour wall in a king tide
and followed the march of the lemon ants.

I’m done with showing

Today I’m telling with the whistle of a blue whale, vibrating
your vision, making it temporarily difficult to swallow

telling with the aural bullet train
before the earthquake

telling with the tiny snuffle of a newborn firstborn

with full mouthed hawking phlegm untuned bagpipe drones in A&E

rural volunteer fire crews in high summer

and the daughters of the river god, Achelous

telling you

that I don’t think your rules
ever fit my story

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