Planet Earth Poetry at Moka House

I have to say it’s getting to be a lot of fun going to poetry nights and reading at the open mic.  Each of the different venues has its own flavor and style, not to mention differences in quality of the sound systems and that sort of thing.  Tonight I was in a good mood and when it was my turn started with some banter about how I had written a piece about ten days ago that I thought would work well here, given that it is a coffeehouse, my poem Coffee, which recounts my love affair with that beverage.  However, I told the audience, I realized you might not like the ending, so of course I gave them the last few words:

“Love ends

Even for coffee

Grounds for divorce”

(Good natured groans ensued)

Then I mentioned that I had written another brilliant poem just a few days ago that I had planned on reading, which I waved in the air, like Craig Ferguson, and said that I wasn’t going to read it at all and referred folks to my blog if they wanted to read it. Then I set up Words by saying that I had just written this poem this morning and that it really isn’t meant to be autobiographical but just grew out of thinking about the phrase that repeats throughout:




We had words

Big words

Words with sharp consonants

And barbed hooks that tear the soft flesh out of your throat

Words that fly out of your mouth and circle overhead like seagulls

Who feast on binscraps and bombard sidewalkers with unwelcome splats




We had words

Eye popping vein throbbing temperature rising words

Words that ricochet against the walls of your closed mind

Like the deathlead heat of a thousand rounds


We had words


Words that are furyflung and meant to wound

Words that don’t listen for responses

Carpet bombs that blow any semblance of conversation into smithereens

Words that thrust and parry

Pointed words that slip deep into unarmoured flesh aiming for the heart


We had words all right

But it’s not all

And it certainly isn’t right

Those words were poisoned

Toxic words

Words that initiate chronic conditions

Flesh eating words

Whose wounds grow larger instead of smaller

Never scabbing over with the promise of a new thin skin

But become suppurating angry ulcers

And the only treatment is amputation or exile

So just saying that we had words

Is a little like saying a gang banged rape victim had sex

Those words had us when we had them

Because sometimes words do become flesh

Bleeding, infected, painful and mortified

And if I could take them back I would

And maybe it would have been better to cover my ears

Walk away in retreat

But we had words


David Trudel  ©  2013


This was a fun reading, and I put a lot of spoken word inflection and emphasis and animation into it.  I got some very positive feedback but mostly I felt that I had done the poem justice and was happy with my performance, which isn’t always the case.






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