Memoir National Poetry Month Nature Poetry Writing

27 – Resistance is Futile

An old manuscript needs translation and I’m lost
(I don’t think my main character has aged well)

words are shifting under my feet
old sayings have meetings with crickets

Urban Dictionary bumps into Webster on a corner and they’re speechless

I used to worry about losing cursive:

     how will new scholars read old texts?
     how will poets fall in love?

Now I worry about the words themselves,
since my turns of phrase might be misconstrued

misunderstood or

not understood at all

     Let’s go Dutch.
     You mean split the bill?

I seem to walk a fine line of cool / rad / dope / da bomb
and No One Says That Anymore
Worse yet: Huh?

A dictionary maker once told me she loved how language changes, revels in the revealing of new words, and I cringed…

New words make me want to unlive
even though poets make up new words all the time

we have our Poetic License, after all,
a sure defense against goblin mode,
and a loophole excuse for a late adopter like me!

Poem ©2023, Jen Payne. #NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books and zines, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gif

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