Poetry Appearing in Poetry In Motion® Portland

The Talker

Mona Van Duyn

One person present steps on his pedal of speech
And, like a faulty drinking fountain, it spurts
All over the room in facts and puns and jokes,
On books, on people, on politics, on sports,

On everything. Two or three others, gathered
To chat, must bear his unending monologue
Between their impatient heads like a giant buzz
Of a giant fly, or magnanimous bullfrog

Croaking for all the frogs in the world. Amid
The screech of traffic or in a hubbub crowd
He climbs the decibels toward some glorious view.
I think he only loves himself out loud.

* * *

"The Talker" from If It Be Not I by Mona Van Duyn. Copyright © 1973. Reprinted with the permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.


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