The Creation of Esperanto
or more accurately, one who hopes,
a name chosen for a chosen language,
wholecloth lingua franca, an attempt
to unBabel, unpunish against anthem–
anathema—the effort noble in a way
that humans aren’t. It hopes
for less human humans, a gleaming
city of the future, stainless steel without rivets,
not our watersplotched metal.
This cultural couture, this static
fragment, guttural and gutterless,
constructed consistent control for erudite elite,
Eurocentric solution for Eurocentric problem.
Anticipation of needs will not cover all needs.
Definition of wants will not cover all wants.
The creation of Esperanto ignored the slow
trickle, the muchness and muchness–
from Protoindoeuropean etchings, irregular roots
hold fast—held fast—through millennia
of bloodstained heartbeats—drift, loan, shift, stone,
trade and conquest, travel and love, sack, siege,
sandpaper tongues—friction is a way of holding
cistern words, stormeye syllabaries, baroque
colloquialisms, with macrosyllabic ecosystems filling
gaps in the blankness through raw structure of use,
tongues flinging diction with casual purpose.
Babies learn to smile by imitating smiles,
and children must relearn irregularities—rough plough,
tough dough. Language comes from the scratch
of alcohol on the tongue, the yawp of a companioned
wolf, gradual sophistication of the larynx, gradual
cohesion of protophonemes, phenotypes scrabbling
towards what we recognize now. Speakers and listeners
must evolve simultaneously, vocal gestures accruing
through mutinous isotopes, the convergent evolution
of false cognates, erosion to vestige—feel stumps
from wombtails—dialect as both wave and particle.
A broken mirror makes many mirrors.
Fish don’t care about the rain, but the ghoti
flops gasping out things and stuff as tapestry–
a mosaic of threads. And when one frays, another slides
in, mutable as myth, the action within abstraction,
idiom ideation. Ow is the sound of ow,
but french dogs say ouaf.
We are not high elves in a void
01100111 01101001 01110110 01101001 01101110 01100111 01100011
01101111 01101101 01101101 01100001 01101110 01100100 01110011.
As Esperanto accrues history,
it will become more real–
ĉu ni atendu?
Carried on the breath, each language breathes–
Latin for breath is spiritus, that which dwells
within us. But I wrote this poem in English,
the pirate tongue, that current overlord of mouths,
so much of this is surely moot. In Esperanto,
moot is not a meaningful root, so I lay this elegy
down to rest.
Ode to the Tardigrade
In an infinite universe,
you survive smallness.
Esperanza and The Tree Snails
by Jade Hidle
... and she turns and smiles into me, / understanding the crevices and crests and coils of the language that every woman before us / whispered into their babies’ ears ...
by Mercedes Lawry
... We were used to the chaos or so we told ourselves ...