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Location: Midwest, United States

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Midnight Vocabulary

My internal vocabulary becomes more interesting as the night progresses (actually, everything becomes more interesting after dark...but I don’t want to drift off topic here). After midnight, my brain begins searching for nuanced words to describe my thoughts and emotions. My vocabulary is far more pragmatic and utilitarian when the sun is shining. The day requires facts and prosaic adjectives. The night elicits poetry, ambiguity and depth. Take the word darkling, for example. It’s an old Dark Ages word, seldom encountered nowadays. Its plain meanings are: 1). lacking clarity: dark, dim or obscure; 2) occurring in darkness. Darkling is the language of the night, I would never use it during daylight hours. Dark suffices then.

As I said, I struggle to find appropriate words at night. It’s not easy. Simple nouns and simple adjectives fail to do justice to the language of the soul. It takes words such as darkling to at least hint at the emotions that lie submerged below.

And so it came to be, as I stared up at a pitch-dark ceiling, with words as obscure as darkling dancing in my weary skull, that I wrote what is, perhaps, my darkest poem.

The Darkling Quiet

Broken wings
That tried to fly
Left by each
And each on fire
Burning in the darkling quiet

Shadows running
Bleed and die
Witnessed by a thousand eyes
Fading in the darkling quiet

Madness fills
The cups we drink
Poisoned lives
Give up and sink
Drowning in the darkling quiet

* * *


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