Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Language Difficulties (formerly "Engrish") -15.12.2010


She says because she comes from Italy,

she doesn’t speak English very well

I say because I come from Australia

I don’t speak English very well either

she doesn’t understand.

when making a suggestion

she says she wants to propose to me

I say – ‘hang on we just met’,

and ask her if Italians are always this forward

she doesn’t understand.

I say it’s a lovely night isn’t it

she says – yes it is actually a good night

I say -well I hope we are not saying good night so soon

if we have to say goodnight at all

she doesn’t understand.

yet she says she likes my eyes are green

and I don’t understand


what those words may mean

and I know words

having entered my fourth decade

trying to master English

I have used words

talked my way in and out of jobs




started strangers talking

my words have started friends crying

have talked other people out of dying

my words are all I have

but tonight

I’m a man with a hundred cans

and no can opener

she is where

I am hello very sorry excuse me nice to meeting you

needing to find out how to get please the bus is stopping

excuse me how much is the toilet

and how you can tell me that way to the one beer thank you

clever wording

and innuendo aren’t working


useless as my over-stacked metaphors

piled high with double meanings

self-effacing, self-sabotaging, clever remarks

stacked so high they topple over


the metaphor falls flatter than...


but she is charming and adventurous and Italian

we walk around

my feet

her mouth

each step struggling

with self expression

shoulders rubbing much closer

than our comprehensions can

so few words we share

we wrestle over the use of each one


and baffle each other


real late

when I say

rather than


let me simply


that this

was not

the way

I wanted

to tire out

our tongues

if you know what I mean.




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