22 December 2009

Noscitur A Sociis

"Noscitur A Sociis" is a latin phrase that means: It is known from its associates. The phrase is used mainly in law where it applies to the meaning of words. I use it here as a way to imply that one cannot be distinguished from its 'hive'. It's also a poem about the subway.


Noscitur A Sociis (12/22)

            The swarm is halved - then thirds

You are running in a bowler and overcoat
            a train slowly leaves you behind

            The individuals stop - stunned - from the air
                        pebbles shocked over sand at night

The platform is empty
            your shoes clicking on cement
            you kick at the chipping yellow paint
            the edge slopes into void

            The swarm are periods - falling loosely - eighths

What do the calcite formations speak of?
            that this is a lonely underground?
            that the R train will never come again?

            The swarm has become a trail of ink
                        the world is littered with stoppages

Tap out the Morse of your thoughts
            that is a wing-tip sound