I haven’t spoken out loud in several days.
Six days to be precise, going into a week,
bullied into a frightened by myself, into myself silence.
Though to be precise, what does “speechless” mean
or even “mutism” in these days of text-to-speech software,
with its choice of Vikki or Samantha or Victoria voices,
especially when I’m possessed of a blogging platform
and writing fluency enough to speak my mind to my heart’s content?
Still, being mute is not a manner of speaking.
Yet I tell you I could speak, I can talk. Nothing physical impedes
my tongue, or locks my lips against making aural sound,
except my brain’s hallucinated snarls, like Jerry Mahoney
and Charlie McCarthy thrown into surrounding shadows
ordering up this stoppage, blockage, blockade.
Now, like that fire-fangled bird at the end of the mind
feathered unlucky, tarred, locked in golden cage
my voice remains only a memento
of everything that I wanted
to say, but couldn’t get out, I couldn’t get out, I couldn’t get it out…
*In the Greek myth, Philomela is raped and has her tongue cut out by Tereus, the husband of her sister Procne. Rendered mute, Philomela weaves a tapestry detailing the crime to inform her sister, who, enraged, takes revenge on Tereus. At the end of the story, both Procne and Philomela are transformed into birds. Some versions have Philomela become a nightingale, the female of which does not sing. In other versions she becomes a swallow, which is a non-singing bird.