The Afflicted Souls Café- Part I

The Afflicted Souls Café- Part I


Welcome to the abode

The elected domicile

Of bedraggled languages

As their ships wreck

In troubled waters and rocks.

Brought to its knees is

The pristine, melodious

Haughtiness of syllables.

Blindly the Twentieth century

Hath crowned them collective Empress

Of seemingly stable

Delimited lands that have now

Come to naught

Waltzing in blood and carbon


Nearly impossible to diagnose

The onset of the malaise

The symptoms gallivanting

Between observable senses

Decided by prevailing humors

Spreading elusive signs

Disseminating plausible narratives

Of fake identities


Angels observed

Shaking their heads

Their beamed communication

Unattended and ill received

Though speaking

In tongues

Should have been

A hint


The Book, The Word

Creating Worlds

The Philosophers and the Linguists

And the Neurologists and the Glottologists

The Novelists and the Poets

All elbowing their way

To courtly favors


Unreliable yet head of Empire

Only at beginning and the end

Did language reveal any structural flaws

And all disciplines rushed to save

Its shiny ass, they too partaking

of its Holy Host.


But as Word and Deed and Thing

And Animal and Consciousness

and the Holy Tablets and the Book

Lay in disarray, with no chain of command

And simply would not

Nicely fit into their assigned slots

Cognitive storms arose

And wouldn’t abate

Rapturing even those endowed with

The Golden Tongue and the Golden Brain

So that they too would be forced to doubt

Their skill and station

No matter how hard they invoked

Saint Anthony’s Vocal Apparatus

In its Golden Tabernacle

To grant firm rootedness

in the tongue and chords


[to be continued…]

Pina Piccolo, 4 January 2023


Cover image: Photo of the Tabernacle containing Saint Anthony’s tongue, in Saint Anthony’s basilica in Padua.