Paul Ilechko


The wind   she said   is liberated 
by the chattering of the typewriter

every keystroke another fleeting blast
of ice cold air     swirling like a language

as it reassembles into random strings
of something that only vaguely

resembles poetry     of something 
that only vaguely resembles music

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

the wind   she said   is harsh as the life
that awaits the unremembered child

his every move recorded as a strand
of syllables     his rephrased life

preceding memory     molded
complete     aloof from the ignorance

of authorial intent     spitting invective
that fails to overcome his misery. 

All That We Have

Tongue    holding onto what the mind 
                                                      has let slide
          sometimes      words are all that we have

night sings through frogs        as the celebration
singing with gusto       across the muscle
                                                                of the town

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

a night of tension      interleaved with passion
                and thus     we begin
                                                     a decade of truth

that will bridge    from street to landscape

while a frozen lake is thawing
                                           into a river of gratitude

and the head of the poison snake is burned
                in a purifying flame                  its body
                             chopped and buried

                       in torn and ragged cloth 
                of a deeper blue             than any sky

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

and still     tongue continues 
       wrapping itself     in the language of conviction

refusing to accept
                                          a lesser fate. 

The Silent Tongue (for Cecil Taylor)

The silent tongue has finally spoken
telling a tale of absence     of cold nights

and rain     and a tenderness that swiftly
re-shapes itself as darkness      

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

the silent tongue has spoken up 
its words now grip     cascading in place

such possibilities     an endless range
of vigorous feelings that tear through

the paper-thin integument     that 
separates a sound from its echo

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

the silent tongue has roots in disease
a hasty coinage     released from the void

presenting itself as souvenir     a gift
from beyond anticipation 

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

pouring from aloft with a thunderous 
bellow    a screaming tongue   no longer

reticent with speech     no longer able to 
enclose within its boundaries     now flooding

the silent streets with silver liquidity 
that explodes from behind the broken wall.

Poet and songwriter Paul Ilechko lives with his partner in Lambertville, NJ. He is the author of several chapbooks. His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including The Night Heron Barks, Feral Journal, Iron Horse Literary Review, Gargoyle Magazine, and Book of Matches. His first album, Meeting Points, was released in 2021.
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