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.
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.
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
- How to wake up
- How to eat
- How to walk
- How to listen
- How to wait
- How to breathe
- How to find things
- Manual: How to make videopoems, courtesy of Swoon
- How to lose
- How to dance
- How to procreate
- How to play
- How to listen: the movie
- How to mourn
- How to calculate
- How to grow up
- How to spit
- How to burn
- How to mourn, Belgian-style
- How to make a fist
- How to make a face
- How to sacrifice
- How to take notes
- How to talk
- How to dig
- How to sleep
- How to cast a shadow
- How to teem
- How to fit in
- How to sit
- How to panic
- How to exist
- How to drive
- How to question authority
- How to cook
- How to find things (videopoem)
- How to distress furniture
- How to meditate
- How to be a poet
6 Replies to “How to listen”
This series is wonderful. Be sure to collect these poems into your next book.
“How to enchant readers,” maybe.
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.
Ear butterflies! Four forms of silence! Lovely, lovely.
Thank you! My only worry with this one is that it veers dangerously close to giving useful advice at one or two spots.
I read a couple of these to Martha, just before we went out the door to something or other, and she said, “be sure to read me the rest of that when we get back!”
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).