Overtone

screaming silent slipping southward
where in words that wind their wayward whistling
i am lost in linger’s longing
catalogued with her voice each time
i heard it

almost anger aimed against it
how in hums that howl their heated hallows
i am slain in sorrow’s searching
memorized with her voice the times
i heard it

and all the things she never said
and all the hurtful hearing spoken
and all the dreaded mindful hauntings
spoken in the overtone.

wishing wasted windtorn wanderings
there in threads that tread their trembled thimbling
i am washed in wanting’s whispering
covered with her voice the night
i heard it

hardly hopeless here i hunger
now in notes that need with knowing names
i am found in fallen flying
drowned with her voice where once
i heard it

and all the songs she never sang
and all the careful cries in softness
and all the never minded hearings
spoken in the overtone.

still there is yes in this unspoken
still there lies in hope the trembling
for in all the unvoiced things
she never found the overtone.

FALL 1993

Back in the 90’s, when I was exploring the way things sounded and how that affected the meaning of a thing, I experimented quite a bit with alliteration. Here’s probably the best example from that titillating time, that explores the juxtaposition of an overtone (i.e., the pitches above or below a given pitch that resonate and add depth to a sound, that tend to reverberate for different lengths of time from the original sound), with the tone in someone’s voice when they truly and deeply feel that a situation is at an end (called, for naming’s sake, the “it’s all over tone”).

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