Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Sprocket

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Sprocket

Article excerpt

I like the clickety verve of the word "sprocket."

It's how you savor words. Forget the signifieds,

go for the hum, music and jangle, the meat.

Forget what you're eating; regard the packaging

though at some point you must rip it and mind

the mimicry. I don't like the words "turbine," "rubric"

(except when it suggests Rubicon), "margarine,"

nor the name "Nancy." Who knows why?

As a kid I hated peanut butter but things change.

My students prefer French-casa, house, maison-

they always choose maison. And deliquescence,

avilissement (for which no swanky equivalent

exits in Anglo-Saxon). "Weltanschuauung"-

God have mercy. German doesn't move me,

"heil," though "tod" as in Venice has its

grotesque charm. The Slavic litost has merit-

but pray you don't get litosted.

I'm reading about extinct languages-

Sumerian, proto-Indo-European, Etruscan

and so many more. …

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