Word-Pray

Please understand that words matter.
This, in no way is meant to belittle,
diminish or dismiss the power of action,
but rather, to add “words” to the conversation
as a sort of auxiliary spiritual sibling,
or bolts in a timeless bridge.
And when I say “words,”
I am specifically referring to those
born of fire, forged from the crucible,
those that have cut their way through the frozen lake within
to emerge into the light,
words which have carried on their backs in flights to find voice the timbre and residue of good golden silence.
Words like beads of prayer stung together on invisible glowing bands,
words that hold themselves in tender glimmering thrall to dreams.
When I say words, I mean the grace-pop of Langston Hughes,
or the fire-ringed gospel of James Baldwin,
I am talking about the givers of voice and breath and being to stories and poems,
to legacies of literature making reverent the twin beats of Beauty and Sadness
as the cornerstones of our human saga upon this earth.
There are poems that whisper secrets in your veins,
or provoke seismic rumbles in the hollows of your ribcage,
there are stories that snake their way like liquid thunder
into the crevices of your soul only to become warm winged echoes
that carry you time and again through dark and troubled nights.
Language is a place-holder for our spirit’s cries, for its need to wonder.
In finding, and coming to feel the words behind the words,
openness is required, sensitivity to receive, vulnerability, a desire to experience, in scorched hints,
the burn and dream-life of another’s soul.
So, yes, words matter a hell of a lot.
They are, when you really get to know them, and experience them with naked and trembling intimacy,
alive, unflagged, organic energetic extensions of who we are, who we are not, who we dream or long to be, what we are made from.
They are our presences and absences stitched together in patterns modeling the thinnest of veils.
Words matter.
Or they don’t.
You choose your relationship with the world around you, with its sea of voices and all our clumsily wonderful mortal attempts at symmetry.
But there is, I guarantee, a world within you that matches and mirrors the world within others,
who have taken the time and care,
who were possessed or compelled,
to put down in words what it felt like to be human,
and how they didn’t defer their dreams to a life unimagined,
or left to silence.

About John Biscello

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, spoken word performer, and playwright, John Biscello now lives in Taos, New Mexico. He is the author of three novels: Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, and Nocturne Variations, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag. His fiction and poetry has appeared in: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Polyphony, Dilate, Militant Roger, Chokecherries, Farmhouse, BENT, The 555 Collective, Instigator, Brass Sopaipilla, The Iconoclast, Adobe Walls, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. His blog--Notes of an Urban Stray--can be read at johnbiscello.blogspot.com. Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year.
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