Recorded for Poem-a-Day, January 1, 2019.
About this Poem 

“‘Sound Has Ears’ imagines a journey into the body of a hollow cosmic sister, guided by a quirky witch named Quasimoto (spelled this way as a nod to American DJ and rapper Madlib's alter ego). The inward journey can serve as a dramatization of the general social need to return to embodiment, but I am more interested in this journey with respect to the title—the idea that sound itself can hear, that sensory input also senses us. Conversely, the dramatization here is of the empty center around which poles of binaries orbit, which I attempted to emphasize with 'polarized' or 'binarized' similes (living tongue moving like a tombstone, bliss felt as fear, etc). To me, there is a didactic element here, or at least an element of desire to be taught/led on the part of the lyric voice: to hear like a heart is to hear the way that sound hears.”
—manuel arturo abreu

Sound Has Ears

In the mercy of the more hollow sister 
A serene fog of moons sprinkled with plum
the vexed haint of Quasimoto is patient
her tongue leaps from her mouth like a tombstone
three times
Smooth as ash 
her favorite word is 'apothecary'
the bliss in me like the interior of a melting fear
as she moves time with an even glance
the boorish anvil of rain as she leads me into a gully
farther into the hollow sister's carny lungs
teaching me to hear in silence as hearts do

Copyright © 2019 by manuel arturo abreu. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 1, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2019 by manuel arturo abreu. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 1, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

manuel arturo abreu

manuel arturo abreu

manuel arturo abreu is the author of Incalculable Loss (Institute for New Connotative Action Press, 2018).