In a Word, a World

I love them all.

I love that a handful, a mouthful, gets you by, a satchelful can land you a job, a
well-chosen clutch of them could get you laid, and that a solitary word can initiate
a stampede, and therefore can be formally outlawed—even by a liberal court
bent on defending a constitution guaranteeing unimpeded utterance. I love that
the Argentine gaucho has over two hundred words for the coloration of horses
and the Sami language of Scandinavia has over a thousand words for reindeer
based on age, sex, appearance—e.g., a busat has big balls or only one big ball.
More than the pristine, I love the filthy ones for their descriptive talent as well as
transgressive nature. I love the dirty ones more than the minced, in that I respect
extravagant expression more than reserved. I admire reserve, especially when
taken to an ascetic nth. I love the particular lexicons of particular occupations.
The substrate of those activities. The nomenclatures within nomenclatures. I am
of the unaccredited school that believes animals did not exist until Adam assigned
them names. My relationship to the word is anything but scientific; it is a matter
of faith on my part, that the word endows material substance, by setting the thing
named apart from all else. Horse, then, unhorses what is not horse.
 

C. D. Wright, "In a Word, a World" from The Poet, the Lion, Talking Pictures, El Farolito, a Wedding in St. Roch, the Big Box Store, the Warp in the Mirror, Spring, Midnights, Fire & All. Copyright © 2016 by C. D. Wright. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.org.
Source: The Poet, the Lion, Talking Pictures, El Farolito, a Wedding in St. Roch, the Big Box Store, the Warp in the Mirror, Spring, Midnights, Fire & All (Copper Canyon Press, 2016)
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