Holy Ghost People
My voice obscured, its illogic of language— "then it happened that my tongue became caught, and immediately I knew nothing, I knew nothing at all"— Unvoiced, unsaid, this absence, what allows for your gathering inside me— "I couldn't remember the words for anything at all"— O one, O none, O no one.
Made of shadow, made of shade, your mouth moving my mouth, your words, what psalm from me— "and the Lord may be telling me to speak in tongues, whether I am alone or with others"— In the market, walking down the road, wherever it may be— "it doesn't matter"— I have not beginning with your voice, no end. Host and parasite— say it, say it— How else should we live?
Unintelligible weight, your millstone, my tongue now so fraught— "then I heard my own words, but didn't understand them"— Overcome, over- thronged, you slide across my mouth, a shadow, a psalter. You drink— before it cloy before it cloud— from such an ordinary thing: my having nothing to say, my standing for no one and nothing.
Of too much was the talk, of too little. Of you and again you, this fugue laid upon me—"but they were not my words"— Gnashing, wailing, split, a threnody of men and of angels.
Those you touch, some break. Others, adamant, unwilling to move, submit to what they fear, but wait to fear what submits to them— you know its / written and you / cant spoil it / your Kingdom must / come / down— As a temple, as a tabernacle— you Kingdoms must come / down—
Whatever is hidden, all the weight of ourselves gets lost, emptying like water, like rivers, the poured wine— "and the words just flowed like water"— Broken or otherwise torn, the body cannot hold—"God lowers himself into the person, comes into him"— Or, if it is me, what I have to say. What I don't know I'm saying.
Cupped, the beloved's voice in my mouth, I am only a guest to such thirst— This is true rest; let the exhausted have rest. This is repose— Crowded, a thousand beating hearts in my throat breathe and breathe and breathe. And what is it I have to say? And who will listen? —with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to his people— The people. The hungry-hearted people.
—and they refused to listen. Or, over the din of their own appetite (gnashing, wailing), they would not— "my tongue was locked in place, it was stuck"— they could not.*Note: Holy Ghost People includes quotes and corruptions of the following voices: Julie Carr, Paul Celan (Pierre Joris, trans.), Aimee Semple McPherson, Gerard Manly Hopkins, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Charles Olson, and the Old and New Testament.