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Elaine Equi: Gallery for The Cloud of Knowable Things

A Quiet Poem | The Objects in Catalogs | New Age Diary

A Quiet Poem

My father screamed whenever the phone rang.

My aunt often screamed when she opened the door.

Out back, the willows caterwauled.

In the kitchen, the faucet screamed
a drop at a time.

At school, they called screaming "recess"
or sometimes "music."

Our neighbor's daughter had a scream
more melodious than my own.

At first, Col. Parker had to pay girls
to get them to scream for Elvis.

I didn't want to scream when I saw the Beatles,
but I did. After that, I screamed for even
mediocre bands.

Late in his career, John Lennon
got into Primal Scream.

Many people find it relaxing to scream.

Just as crawling precedes walking, so screaming
precedes speech.

The roller coaster is just one of many
scream-inducing devices.

The ambulance tries, in its clumsy way, to emulate
the human scream, which in turn tries to emulate nature.

Wind is often said to shriek, but Sylvia Plath
also speaks of "the parched scream of the sun."

Jim Morrison wanted to hear the scream of the

With ultra-sensitive equipment, scientists measure
the screams of plants they've tortured.

It's proven that if you scream at a person
for years, then suddenly stop, he will hear even
the tenderest words of love as violent curses.

And to anyone who speaks above a whisper, he will say:
"Don't you dare. Don't you dare raise your voice to me."

The Objects in Catalogs

are made of light.
Well-lit or seemingly edible,
butterscotch and hazelnut light.
A bit vulgar, like starlets
the objects pose, pausing
as though in midsentence.
But really they are mute
—the story barely there.
Like children they wait to hear us
tell of the great Platonic love
we have for our many selves.
A vast literature reduced here
to a few short phrases: numbers,
letters, and of course, price.

New Age Diary

I wake to the sound of tuning forks realigning my chakras, then gulp a glass of oxygen with my vitamins before creating the job of my dreams using positive thoughts and written affirmations. Next, I do my yoga asanas while burning appropriately scented, mood-enhancing candles to the goddess, followed by meditation on Buddhist and Christian scripture which only leaves time for a brief word with my angels, just enough to touch base and review the day's plans, as I finish a quick breakfast of a few almonds and a small banana. Then it's off to the homeopath, and later the shrink who is right across the street from the health food store where I opt for the grilled vegetable sandwich, and finally get home around four, so that there's an hour to relax with a cup of chamomile tea and my horoscope, unless I'm particularly stressed, in which case I might buy some chocolate and get out the tarot cards as well.

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© 1999 - 2003, by the poets featured herein.