C.N.P Poetry 

  • Cathexis Northwest Press

tongues

By: Anna Genevieve Winham



living is faithing;

i approach taste through your tongue.

you faith in commonality:

behind a million tongues

one. one langue.

parole with me,

let me know your million nerve endings.

your faith in animality

has me quivering:

dopamine the universal currency,

touch the human economy,

skin the border

and the boundary. skin the quality.

skin the shape of the word.

your skin rosetta stone. your breath

cartography. your hand

on my neck

translation. your lips

a vessel. your tongue the

ink.




Anna Genevieve Winham writes at the crossroads of science and the sublime, cyborgs and the surreal. She is Ninth Letter's 2020 literary award winner in Literary Nonfiction and Writer Advice Flash Fiction Contest's 3rd place winner. Anna writes and performs with the Poetry Society of New York, moonlighting as Velvet Envy in The Poetry Brothel. You can find her work in Tilde~, Q/A Poetry, Panoplyzine, AAWP: Meniscus, and Pandemic Poets and soon in Oxford Public Philosophy, Rock & Sling, Breadcrumbs Magazine, and Paragraph. While attending Dartmouth College (which was the pits), she won the Stanley Prize for experimental essay and the Kaminsky Family Fund Award.


"I wrote this poem as I was emerging from a long hiatus from writing. As I returned to the habit, I seemed to be writing myself out of one existential crisis and straight into another. I had, at the time and often still, a particular muse who inspired a series of twisted, turning, tortuous pages. I found it almost impossible to speak to this muse truly. This piece is one of the more pleasurable productions from that linguistically themed collection. Eventually as I joined The Poetry Brothel, a group of travelling, performing poets, this poem became one of my favourites to perform. There's something tactile about it that people seem to feel immediately, even if they've never heard of Saussure. As another Brothel poet, Lux Aeterna, says, 'all language is body language, for it's said with the tongue.'"