Note to a reader: My poem on metalanguage is an experimental piece…


Note to a reader: My poem on metalanguage is an experimental piece, but you probably “get” more than you think you do. It’s not meant to be understood at a rational level, so by all means enjoy the poetic frisson in lines like “what language has broken, made lame and languishing” because that’s the entry point into the poem’s mystery. Words that sound alike share the same sound symbols — LEI in this case, but also the M in LAME and the NG in LANG share common phonetic features, departing in only one phonetic quality.

My poems include some rhymes, but they are also rhyming at a less obvious level, not always at the sound level but at the level of phonetic features. They play with the notion that the phonetic features of language can be pointers “beyond meaning” into the spiritual mysteries and life’s other riddles. The mystical premise, or at least suggestion, is that words that sound alike and therefore share a common sound-meaning or are pronounced similarly and therefore share a common embodied movement also share something more, a common oneness that is often worth paying attention to. The more you look for this oneness, and the more skilled you get in the hunt, the exploration process can become filled with all sorts of interesting discoveries and insights.

Metalanguage — Lingua-U specifically, which is drafted and disseminated in a partial codex format only and not published — is a map to the most common 40 or so patterns found when a language, any human language, is looked at in its subtle properties, so the map can eventually be a helpful guide to traversing these subtle realms.

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