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The world churns this body,
has been my whitish ipecac,
like a big tongue in the gut,
has made me hurtle words.

I am a refinery, a plant that shits beauty.
I’m tired and frightened, that is depression,
I’ve said it before.  Nothing is everything is love,
and no great love for the man'inventing.

Touch me off, go back to the aether,
monkey fist, half-hitch, noose.
Love is a sandpaper, it smooths corners,
it bevels edges, it makes dust of us,

finally we go back to the wind.
Every ribcage is a ladder with rungs
of bone.  I’m glad I’m thin
so I can count how high I have to go.


                       *


On the hunt, the devil grass hurts
my eyes.  I’d rather sleep,
I’d rather yawn my children into petted being.

The thousand frights between
my lips have made such games
of ivory shaking in the voice of earth.

Down at the roots is the only
place to make sense of it all,
in the dark that has always been blind.

The light is confusing, exposing too much,
it hurts my slit slit eyes, I should keep this mouth shut,
I know better than to speak with sounded words.  

Children, as you test your voices bellow
to the sun but listen after,
living listen prior.

Every ladder is a ribcage with handles
that fit like weapons against your lungs and heart;
I amount body to the fall, to a fable named silence.


                        *            


Fallen into a cart of apples,
bright and delicious, my option

is to eat my passage out.  It’s lonely in the golden fruit.
I wish you were here to share my sickness and my empty hunger.

If a lion could speak,
you would not understand him.
"If a lion could speak, we would not understand him."

-Wittgenstein


Draft update: 12.22.06
Add a Comment:
 

Daily Deviation

Given 2005-06-16
If a Lion Could Speak by *boundlessgravity provides us with a tantalizing and haunting narrative of examination, and packs an ending that is as clever as they come. ( Suggested by somedrunkblackspoon and Featured by ndifference )
:icondrawitout:
drawitout Featured By Owner May 12, 2016  Professional General Artist
Have I really never commented on this?

I first read this poem the day it got a DD - over a decade ago.
It really, really stuck with me and continues to be my favourite writing.

I'm so glad I can keep coming back to read it again, several deviantART accounts later.
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner May 12, 2016  Professional Writer
:)
Reply
:iconfrank-a-tude:
Frank-A-Tude Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2012
I love this, how it somehow makes perfect sense despite the fact that it doesn't really make much actual sense in parts. It's deep
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2012  Professional Writer
Thanks, Frank.
Reply
:iconsabacat13:
Sabacat13 Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2009
Love it!
Reply
:iconlil-pgmy-lion:
lil-pgmy-Lion Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2008
what do you mean? most of it makes perfect sense
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009  Professional Writer
what makes perfect sense?

or...

how am I not myself?
Reply
:iconshaikhara:
shaikhara Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2007
i loved this:
''Love is a sandpaper, it smooths corners,
it bevels edges, it makes dust of us''
Reply
:iconrealityisking:
RealityIsKing Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2007
Purely awesome.
Reply
:iconsalshep:
salshep Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2006
This is remarkable. It's currently very late, and I'm in no frame of mind to comment properly except to say thankyou so much for posting this, I enjoyed it immensely. I will be back to read more. :)

- Sal
Reply
:iconkexorz:
kexorz Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2006
"I am a refinery, a plant that shits beauty." -absolute favorite line, very unexpected. well done!
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2006  Professional Writer
Right on, thanks :)
Reply
:iconzarathustras-crown:
Zarathustras-Crown Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2006
*applauds* utterly beautiful! You have a way with sectioning your pieces that makes them more relevant than the component parts of your words...amazing.
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2006  Professional Writer
Much obliged.
Reply
:iconzarathustras-crown:
Zarathustras-Crown Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2006
Anytime :)
Reply
:iconstarryeyed3004:
starryeyed3004 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2006   Writer
I am so glad that I randomly decided to search the word "lion."

I love this:
"The thousand frights between
my lips have made such games
of ivory shaking in the voice of earth"

I also really love your contrast of "every ribcage is a ladder" and "every ladder is a ribcage"

In general, this poem is great. I still don't understand all of it, but I like a poem that challenges my mind. I'll be reading it many many more times. Thanks for writing it.
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2006  Professional Writer
Sure thing; thanks for being curious and stumbling across it.
Reply
:iconcidotaku:
CidOtaku Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2006
A long while back I read this, and while I knew it was great, there were parts that really didn't hit me full force yet, so I decided to bookmark it, and read it later to see if I could feel for more of it. And now I fell in love with it all over again, and have decided to permanately favorite it. I really love it, and I especially can't get the visual of the ribs out of my head. Great job!
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2006  Professional Writer
Thanks; I often wonder if people ever read these things more than once. It's good to hear someone out there has some gumption, at the least ;)

Take it easy.
Reply
:icondrinkyourtea:
drinkyourtea Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2006
wow I love that I'm going to add you to my devwatch :)
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2006  Professional Writer
Hot damn!
Reply
:icondrinkyourtea:
drinkyourtea Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2006
:)
Reply
:iconcarpentermiller:
carpentermiller Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2005   Writer
Congrats on the DD, even though it was about a month ago... Wow, I've really been out of it.

This is wonderfully 'humble' poetry, if you don't mind me calling it such. It is quietly complex, and seems perfectly content to be taken on either a literal level or a symbolic one. I love your subtlety.

I highly enjoyed the imagery of the ribcage, especially the phrase "I'm glad I'm thin/ so I can count how high I have to go." And I hope I'm not amiss in pointing out the tie between the apples, the "golden fruit," and the heart, and the contrast between the red of the heart, the apples, and the ivory of the bone.

Once again, simple excellence. You seem to have a knack for that. :D
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2005  Professional Writer
Simple excellence...yeah, that's what I'm after!

I can tell you give some good thought to these pieces, which is how they begin to bloom. I always enjoy hearing about the connections you make and the themes you come away thinking about - quite helpful and well-enjoyed.


So thanks, again :thanks:
Reply
:iconcarpentermiller:
carpentermiller Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2005   Writer
At least my babblling is somewhat entertaining and/or useful to someone.
Most people just tune me out by now. *hangs head in shame*

And, you're welcome! :D
Reply
:iconfluid-motion:
Fluid-Motion Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2005
This is one of the best i've come across. In explanation for the fav. Off to your gallery.
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2005  Professional Writer
Many thanks, I appreciate the read.
Reply
:iconiamshe:
iamshe Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2005
I'm full.

You make me wish I weren't such a devotee of simplicity; if I could write like this, I wouldn't mind being a poet.
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2005  Professional Writer
One of my favorite Neruda images is to do with the pulley. He said it was simple, but wild inside itself.

Who really wants to be a poet, though?

I want to be a inebriant, a rockstar, Motley Crue in 1986.
Reply
:iconiamshe:
iamshe Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2005
Jeez, he's another one can floor me, stop me on a celestial dime.

:lol: yes, I know. I'm going to be a rock star someday, but more along the lines of Joni Mitchell c. the early 70s with a dash of the modern grrl thrown in to keep the genre-labelers guessing. Folk r0xx0rz.

I'll pass on inebriated, though--reality is strange enough to me without *that* particular filter thrown in. But my tour bus will have an unlimited supply of Ben & Jerry's, that's fer darn sure.
Reply
:iconyubishines:
yubishines Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2005
Lovely. It's like the words you think of or hear in your dreams - it makes all the sense in the world when they are being said, but when you wake up and the poem ends, the meaning slips away.
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2005  Professional Writer
Richard Hugo has some really great dream poetry - one of my favorites goes, partially:


On a clean street you join the parade. Women
line the streets and applaud, but only the band.
You ask to borrow a horn and join in.
The bandmaster says we know you can't play.
You are embarrassed. You pound your chest
and yell meat. The women weave into the dark
that is forming, each to her home. You know
they don't hear your sobbing crawling the street
of this medieval town. You promise money
if they'll fire the king. You scream a last promise-
Anything. Anything. Ridicule my arm.


The first time I read that I was like wtf? But, as per your kind words above, sometimes you just have to go with the dream.
Reply
:iconbellflower-roses:
Bellflower-Roses Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2005
Wow... that was incredible... how can I critique it? I can't put it into words any better than you have...
Reply
:icondigitalxdefiant:
digitalxdefiant Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2005
I like the scheme/structure. im not much of a poet but it has a unique one. amazing, i gave a deep sigh when i read this, usually only poe or the like can do that x.x
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2005  Professional Writer
:laughing:

A sigh! Well, that's not bad. And thank you for comparison, at least on a professional level.
Reply
:icondigitalxdefiant:
digitalxdefiant Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2005
I guess that might make it sound like a kind of criticism, which it is not, I thought the poem was awesome :)
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2005  Professional Writer
No worries, I didn't take it as such.
Reply
:iconcreaturebalzer:
creaturebalzer Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2005   Photographer
Love is a sandpaper, it smoothes corners,
it bevels edges, it makes dust of us,

Finally we go back to the wind.



soo perfect
Reply
:iconsugaraxie:
sugaraxie Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2005
wow -- just simply, wow -- that's really beyond good -- snap, I wish I could write poems like that -- mine are so shallow lol!! -- at first I was confused and had to read every line like 2-3 times but then I sort of began understanding it...

congrats on the DD and continue to write -- write soon! i wanna read more of your work!
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2005  Professional Writer
Thanks, I'm glad you had the patience to take another look. With luck, I'll be writing some more soon - in the meantime, the gallery waits...
Reply
:iconsugaraxie:
sugaraxie Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2005
Hope you write soon -- I'd really like to read more of your stuff -- well, more current stuff -- I've been looking through your gallery lol
Reply
:iconnsh:
NSH Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2005  Professional Photographer
congrats on the DD.
this was exceptional

:heart:
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2005  Professional Writer
Thank you much.

:hug:
Reply
:iconkettil:
kettil Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2005
Very refreshing to read this!

I put you on my watch list. If you wish to return the favor, please read my new piece "The Teacher" [link]

How come Gene Wolfe is not in your "Favourite poet or writer" list? :)
Reply
:iconbored-deity:
Bored-deity Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2005  Hobbyist General Artist
Congrats on the daily deviation. I love this, and even though in my simple mindedness I can not fully grasp what this poem is getting at exactly, I know enough to appreciate its beauty. Love the comparison between love and sandpaper and the ribcage to the ladder. This poem is amazing.
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2005  Professional Writer
Thanks very much - I don't know that I can fully grasp what it's getting at, either.

Take it easy,
C
Reply
:iconbored-deity:
Bored-deity Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2005  Hobbyist General Artist
It's good to know that there are people out there besides myself who sometimes can not fully understand what they've written, but it was a great piece nonetheless.
Reply
:iconnaniloa86:
naniloa86 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2005  Student Digital Artist
wow, definitely deserving of daily deviation! i like the verses about the ribcage. very creative ^_^
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:icondemonlight:
demonlight Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2005  Professional Writer
Bloody.

End of comment.
And trust me - the shorter my comments are, the better it is.
Reply
:iconcreightonwrites:
creightonwrites Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2005  Professional Writer
:laughing:

Apparently I got off lightly, considering the disclaimer.

Thanks - maybe you can tear me a new one some other time. ;P
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