A Charm Against The Language Of Politics
by Veronica Patterson
Say over and over the names of things,
the clean nouns: weeping birch, bloodstone, tanager, Banshee damask rose.
Read field guides, atlases, gravestones.
At the store, bless each apple by kind: McIntosh, Winesap, Delicious, Jonathan.
Enunciate the vegetables and herbs: okra, calendula.
Go deeper into the terms of some small landscape:
spiders, for example. Then, after a speech on
compromising the environment for technology,
recite the tough, silky structure of webs: tropical stick, ladder web, mesh web, filmy dome, funnel, trap door.
When you have compared the candidates’ slippery platforms, chant the spiders: comb footed, round headed, garden cross, feather legged, ogre faced, black widow.
Remember that most short verbs are ethical: hatch, grow, spin, trap, eat.
Dig deep, pronounce clearly, pull the words
in over your head.
Hole up for the duration.