Jan 5, 2009

Gibberish tongues
from Clapping Carnival Rasp

The tongue in her mouth fought and flopped, like a fresh fish abandoned to air. It flipped and flapped, slapped her jaw and the roof of her mouth, a spasm and a spasm and a spasm. Flip flap, roof-jaw roof-jaw, slap slap slap.

She couldn’t make it stop. Mary’s mouth moved without her meaning it too, shuttering in stammers, stammering in sputters, spitting utterances out she didn’t understand. She was standing in the kitchen, looking out the window at the hill and the breaking of the sky and her guy, Jim, working on his boat. She was standing at the kitchen with the water washing into the sink where six carrots were sitting, half submerged like orange alligators, when she began to speak.

She said, “Shama halja halya abba onai onai nanai.” She said, “Hama lattae slinging shinga oma my paparatati alla gonar.”

She thought, I am losing my words.

And then she spoke and words came out green and rough, ruff ruff. She spoke without even meaning to and she heard how her teeth clacked, when her mouth smacked closed, and she sat down so her body’d be still, if not silent.

When Jim came in and tried to talk to her, his words were all yellow flowers falling. They were swirling out of his mouth. Mary stared at them and tried to follow the words as they spilled and spun, hung and then fell, but she couldn’t catch them with her eyes. She couldn’t hear what they meant.

He said, “Mary what is it? What’s wrong? What is it?” But all she heard were nonsense words and gibberish tongues.