Songs Hidden within the Shell – Christopher Knodel

My turn to read, I’m silent, panicked,
waiting to open this ribcage
to you, display my core,
this chorus of dissonance.
Choking on bile,
I smile past your figures,
but when I speak,
my words prove empty vessels.

My tongue’s immersed
in brackish, copper pools,
mind aware,
yet reigning back each utterance,
as if another
languished soloist swallows
the birth of sound,
cowers behind his words,
in this opera of mutes.

So much meaning
withheld in fear of opening
my world of tightly sewn wounds,
bound, but leaking,
seeping sounds, seeking release.
Shouting, shrieking silently,
drowning beneath these words,
an underwater libretto.

And yet, these textual layers,
descriptive heirlooms of
Angles, Romans, Chinese,
are sculpted to mask, to conceal motif,
like Sung prophecies
chiseled on turtle shells,
burnt in effigy, and blown
to swirl as scattered lies.


Chris ‘Irish Goat’ Knodel is an author, poet, prose editor for The Sagebrush Review, and ultra-distance runner in San Antonio, TX. He is completing three concurrent graduate programs: a Creative Writing MFA from UHV, a Publishing MS for UHV, and an English/Linguistics MA from UTSA. His poetry and short fiction have been featured in/by Alba, Allegro Poetry Magazine, Asses of Parnassus, DreamFusion Press, Ealain, Four Parts Press, as well as many others. He can be easily spotted by his kilt, tattoos and six inch, flaming-red, Van Dyke goatee.

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