Tag Archives: silence

The Screaming Mound

Do not speak falsely. 

Brutal honesty: 
far better a crime 

than your silence 
denies. 

Your tongue 
presses 

the bottom of your mouth. 

Words wait. 

Tongues are cut out. 

Tongues rise high— 
lash the ground. 

Place your tongue atop 
the screaming mound.

About the poem:

“The Screaming Mound” contains some of the most jarring imagery I’ve ever employed in a lyrical context. The issue at the poem’s core  —  complicity in atrocity through silence — demanded a strident metaphor.

But sadly, I no longer remember what prompted the poem.

I think this is because the poem itself chooses a kind of silence and complicity. By operating exclusively through metaphor — however striking — without so much as an epigraph to clarify the poem’s real-world context and origin, the pain of the particular is silenced.

So, too, is memory.