Featured: Doug Bolling, The Speaking Poem

The Speaking Poem

Doug Bolling

Human beings continually record their individuality in the creases of the language….

Claude Hagege, The Dialogic Species

What is a poem the Zen master said

but a small breach in the blindness

of seeing as others have seen.

What is a poem but a feather

lifting and falling in an


Brothers and Sisters.

If to meet on the bridge

that is the poem.

If to let go the ligatures

that bind the language

of everyday.

I suggest to you:

poem is the secret agent

of our emancipation

out of the maze

out of ourselves.

Think the creases that lie

in stone.

How through them water flows

bringing life to all green things,

even to our stories that cut

through the dross.

Night music opening sleeping earth

to festival even as a single cello

can rouse the walking dead.

My comrades

when you read this

if you read this

leave paper behind

in its fiber rags,

enter, enter.


Doug Bolling‘s poetry has appeared in Georgetown review, Tribeca Poetry Review, Basalt, Redactions, Connecticut River Review, BlazeVOX, and/or, Wallace Stevens Journal and many others, recently in The Missing Slate with Poet of the Month and interview. He has received five Pushcart nominations and holds the MA (with creative thesis) and PhD from Iowa. He is working on a collection and living in the greater Chicago area.