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Tum-Tum-Te-Ri, Tum-Tum-Te-Ray. & one more by Cheryl Spinner

It’s the photo that speaks,
That generates words,
Words trapped in the tongue,
In the recess right under,
Right under the langue.
It tries to make words,
Some boxes of sound,
That jumble and roll
And stumble
And frown.
But to be trapped in the mouth is a difficult thing,
Both wet and both dry,
A stifling ring.
A mouth that says yes,
A mouth that says no,
A lip that cries maybe,
A sound that says lo.

It’s the photo that wreaks,
Spits its hair in your face.
It goes tum-tum-te-ri
And tum-tum-te-ray.

It’s the photo that smells,
Runs its hand through your face,
Picks a pill off the floor,
And throws it back in the crevice
of that place.

It’s the photo that tries,
Oh, it tries oh so well,
Stick a sound in its depths,
Cry out loud till it sounds.


Edison Electric.
I am Thomas Ah-lva Edison,
With the tattoo of five.
Five dots cast on like the face of a die,
That ask the elephant to die,
That shock it of its life-power.

The elephant stands
Then falls to the ground
Not a zap to be heard
No recording of sound.
But the elephant dies,
Oh that can be sure.
For I am Thomas Ah-lva Edison,
Hear my name as it roars,

With a child named Dot (.)
and a child named Dash (-)

Dot, dot, dash. Dot dot dash.


Cheryl Spinner currently lives in Durham, N.C., where she is a doctoral student in the English Department at Duke University. She received her Master's Degree in English at Georgetown University in the spring of 2010. A native of Queens, N.Y., her writing intertwines yiddishe kopf with a certain kind of New Yawk flair. You can follow her research blog at electricladieszap.wordpress.com.