on the precipice of exchange

on the precipice of exchange

A Poem by jacob erin-cilberto


on the precipice of exchange

 

 

 

finesse

around the questions

life and death in conversation

debate

 

then uncomfortable silence

the right words swallowed

heartbeats slow in vague 

understanding

 

often attempts

are best left to the unconscious

the elephant in the room

stampedes

 

we are breaking inside

yet words to describe

roll back behind the tongue

as we part

 

without compunction

or punctuation

to give closure

to the thought.

 

 

 

erin-cilberto

2/15/2020

© 2020 jacob erin-cilberto


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"...the elephant in the room
stampedes."
Very clever.
Sometimes, there are no "right words"--and if there were,
they would be buried too deeply to access.
Perceptive piece, Jacob.

Posted 1 Month Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Month Ago

thank you for your kind words, FJ,
j.
Sometimes there are no words. People in emotional situations, especially relationships, want to connect, but simultaneously hold back for fear of saying the wrong things. Many a relationship has been ruined by saying such wrong things. But many too have failed for not having said anything.

Posted 1 Month Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Month Ago

it's a rock and a hard place, isn't it?
to say, to keep hushed....
such a fear.
.. read more
Oh man! I really liked the pacing and structure of this one!!!

“finesse
around the questions“

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people dance around sharing their opinions on a matter. People can fall into a ditch of thinking just because they are sharing an opinion then it comes off as “dogmatic”. Don’t get me wrong there are things I do believe dogmatically but the majority of matters I understand there to be much mystery around the exact details.

“the right words swallowed”

Those are some of the most regrettable moments of my life when I did that. Whether it be not initiating a conversation with a girl I was attracted to or administer some tough love to someone who needed it.

Enjoyed this one Jacob!!!

Posted 1 Month Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Month Ago

i really appreciate your kind review, Apollos----

what we don't say can often come ba.. read more
I like this. Nervous encounters, words present but uncertain if should be spoken or allow the recipient to stay left wanting. Could be practically any scenario. Do I speak my mind and jump or stay on the cliff where it is safe and leave the thoughts to fall where they may, unspoken? Wonderful. Truly.

Posted 1 Month Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Month Ago

thank you for your visit and words, SM...
j.
J, when I read this poem, one word comes to mind: Mistrust (could be distrust, if we've regretted past conversations with the same person). Of course, candor or frankness can send us over the slippery edge, and who knows where we land, maybe a terminated friendship or worse. I think the truest mark of friendship is the comfort in saying whatever without fear of offense, and that's pretty rare. As many, I think today about politics and Trump. Yes, I avoid those, too.

Posted 1 Month Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Month Ago

thank you for your words, R.E.,
j.
This comment has been deleted by the poster.
The perfect conundrum, to speak, hoping the eyes that respond look kind and don't scrunch up like a concertina, or to pause a little too long and regret the moment passing, knowing it will most likely gnaw at our gut and mind.
I agree with the subconscious line Jacob, but having done just that too many times to reopen that wound, i automatically go for the opposite of what it tells me.
I have given up keeping count of how wrong i get it either way.
Love the title, that brief moment truly is a precipice.


Posted 1 Month Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Month Ago

thank you for your words, Lorry,
j.
To say or not to say that is the problem. Those awkward silences are a killer aren't they? "we are breaking inside". Guess you have to weigh up the situation and the person you are with and make a decision whether it is best left unsaid or whether you should speak your mind. Sticky one. Good friendships should allow for the fact that you aren't always going to have the same views on everything. A thought provoking write Jacob.

Chris

Posted 1 Month Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Month Ago

and with good friendships there is rarely dead air...and even the silences are comfortable...no need.. read more
I agree with Daves review, best to be unspoken than misspoken.

Posted 1 Month Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Month Ago

thank you, Katrina,
j.
Is it true that often the unspoken word is better than the misspoken one? Not knowing what to say, not knowing what to do. Indeed the elephant in the room begs for attention and is grateful when none is given.

Very thoughtful - take care - Dave

Posted 1 Month Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Month Ago

that poor elephant...we have such disregard for him all to often.
thank you for your words, D.. read more
that stampeding elephant kinda reminded me of Hannibal's elephants and the sacking of Rome... something that hardly anyone wants to talk about in today's world.... for me the elephants would be us and our outrage against everything america has been doing and done in the world... hardly anyone talks about the need to do this kind of sacking when it is this country that is Rome....

you may not have had this in mind with your elephants Jacob, as it is so very true we often do not say what needs to be said, because of fear or friendship... in these cases finesse is important, but there are also times when 'bullshit stop your windy nonsense' comes to mind.... reasoned debate is very important, but if the one you are debating is not even listening and reasoning, then bring on the elephants.... reminds me of someone who says, "my minds made up, don't confuse me with facts".... and aren't there way too many of these people who are running society today.....

Posted 1 Month Ago


jacob erin-cilberto

1 Month Ago

yes, way too many....thank you for your insightful review, Curt,
j.

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Added on February 17, 2020
Last Updated on February 17, 2020

Author

jacob erin-cilberto
jacob erin-cilberto

Carbondale, IL



About
Originally from Bronx, NY, I live in Carbondale, Illinois...teach English at two community colleges and have been writing and publishing poetry since 1970. Friending works two ways. If we have had .. more..

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