Flo Reynolds 72

the snails were curiously lacerated, circled with transpiring pores / and thickly sliding on their single sole, their mucus rich and flowing

Flo Reynolds

poem for my lisp

Sing for making mistakes as a praxis
a praxis that assumes the slip-up
as resonant mantle of faux pas
borne in the wet of the body
a sensuous sort of slippage
a difficulty in soft moist things
an unseemly seepage as strategy

Celebrate how still under stress
the lisp escapes, some sounds
slipperier than others, sounds
of a pigskin sole on shined parquet

Cause: supposed laziness
a too-eager tongue with reluctant teeth
the raw squid of the mouth resisting
the ski slope in the skull

Sibilance is posited as sleekness
as ease, elegance, something feline, feminine
though it is spurious to assume these qualities
they are attributes seldom possessed
as a child should be seen and not heard
you must put on your duchesse satin ball gown
before you attempt the ascent

when I invited in the snails it was an ecoliterary intervention  


sub rosa, in which my notebook
an extension of your
tender poems constituting a new mode and means of
a masculinity of the soft slow and sotto voce
some planned or unplanned cyborgism
the snails were curiously lacerated, circled with transpiring pores
and thickly sliding on their single sole, their mucus rich and flowing
the sound as they supped upon the pages of the notebook was a billowing scrunch
the sound of a creature of much greater stature
the terror of the margins
thoroughly snailed, slayers of men-at-arms and yeomen
spiralled and protruding with their seeing-sticks extended
jousting with the worthiest knights of their day
victorious and shocking as the swollen sepalled parts
the notebook succumbed to the salivation of snails


and bore the sores of their suction
words spilled and were lost in the snail holes
the snails undid grammar and any semblance
of sensible syntax was destroyed

in my praxis of mistakes
insert an asterisk
an elusive stipulation
to speak has a power of harness
the method slips its harness
sets off for its own secret soiree
though you’ll say that it should have been silent
and the chorus will hiss when you speak
and they’ll reap a persuasive harvest
they’ll seduce a tacit deduction
as a jus or a scurrilous garnish

the pink lace camisole will be dyed with petals torn from cerinthe
gathered that morning in your terrace
and teabags from your food waste bin
to stay displayed in a sizeable mesh enclosure
through which bodices shall rip and slink away across the floor
with the sound of a skirt dragging on fallen leaves
and then you will know that it’s starting

after the party
I found the last snail
where my tongue had been

Flo Reynolds' work spans text, tissue, image and event. Recent poems have appeared in amberflora, Magma, Datableed, Haverthorn, and others. You can find her at floreynolds.com and @reyn_flo.