How to listen

This entry is part 4 of 39 in the series Manual


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Just as the tail bone is a vestigial tail, the ears are vestigial cabbages.

Wear a hat to ward off ear worms, which if unchecked can turn into ear moths.

Listen with the heart. It’s not really designed for that, but it gets bored just pumping blood all the time.

Listen with your skin: each body hair is an antenna.

Turn on, tune in, drop into a really comfortable couch.

That “still, small voice” is neither God nor conscience but a long-deceased great aunt with a few things still on her mind.

Take notes.

All sound can be heard as music, but not all music can be heard as music.

Your life did, in fact, come with a soundtrack—what have you done with it?

The listener, too, must improvise.

One chord is enough for most purposes—don’t be greedy!

Silence can take four basic forms: pregnant, shocked, utter, and radio.

Pregnant silence is the most tragic, since she always dies giving birth.

Compose in her memory a sonata for the ear trumpet.

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6 Replies to “How to listen”

    1. Thanks — glad you like these so far. I haven’t resolved to put them in the “poems and poem-like things” category yet, which is kind of liberating, but I guess they are as poem-like as anything else I’ve posted.

    1. Awesome. That’s great feedback. I am trying to write things that might appeal to people who don’t necessarily read poems, too (not that Martha fits in that camp).

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