sound without location – 20th poem on 20th day

Here is the 20th poem on the 20th day!  About hearing and not. 


Sound without location                 Max Wolf Valerio



and falling

to earth

rolling toward



two halves

listening at the same time


“Siamese Twins” I thought I heard  —

speaking to me from two sources at the same time

conjoined by flesh and spirit

yet somehow victorious and self-contained 


without two ears hearing

one cannot detect the direction where sound


the speaker’s location

is cloaked in a thick cloth 


or the voice is detached

                     and floats

around a room confused by its proximity

to two places and  then to



If balance was still an issue I could not so easily defy gravity  —

listening at the perimeters

stalking the location of the speaker by hooking a fetish object into my skull


possibly the boomerang, a relic and a ritual object

I played with in dreams

is haunting me now as summer



the precise location is a swaddling echo

exponential to impulse


slipping from expectations


oblique and then         folding into a series of prayers

becoming known only through its absence


that first time     I remember dialing

              the speaker        to see —

         I heard a soft alien chatter    unknowable and acutely distant     


and so it appears that speech cannot be always processed once you have lost the ability to locate the origin of a sound


and sound is inscrutable without location, smearing

across every certainty and leaving you



                                                      it was such a long time ago


by Max Wolf Valerio (c) April 20, 2012


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