“Lennon Lyric” by Scott Corbet Riley

Scott Corbet Riley


Even picking up the dry-cleaning, even
chewing the Eucharist or at home chewing
thought, he thinks can anyone hear my thought?
Hello, he says to passersby, hello,
without a word, but they continue without
a glance. It’s like he thinks his voice is an

unneeded glut, and language too unneeded.
But when he avoids language he thinks but
words keep cropping up, which of course are words
so language must be to thinking what so
many stones are to quarries or many
steps are to a path and to lose your step

what’s that? To wander into the brush of what’s
not? And what would your feet be if they’re not
feet, which is to say could you trust your feet
if they weren’t called feet to carry you if
the path you’re on’s not a path but words and the
it we them everything’s a part of it.

from Rattle #45, Fall 2014
Tribute to Poets of Faith

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Scott Corbet Riley: “After college, I attended an Episcopal seminary for two years—and thought briefly about joining the priesthood. Instead, I elected to marry a priest and study poetry. While I consider myself an Episcopalian, I am significantly less interested in denominational caterwauling than I am intrigued by the relationship between material reality and the unseen world of the imagination. My poetry explores—and, I hope, embodies—the ways in which language connects us to that unseen world.” (website)

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