MARK RUFFALO FORGOT TO TURN OFF HIS INSTAGRAM LIVE THING AND ITS LITERALLY LIVESTREAMING RAGNAROK FROM HIS POCKET RIGHT NOW LIKE YOU CAN HEAR THE MOVIE PLAYING IM CRYING WHY IS HE SO BAD @ THIS TURN OFF YOUR PHONE YOU FUCKING MORON
lately i’ve been thinking a lot about the specificity of language. everyone always talks about how english has one word for love, i’m bored of that. i think a lot about how we have a word for a sign of things to come (portent) and how we have a word for freeing someone of sin (absolve), we have a word for a sudden outburst of any kind of activity (paroxysm). today my brother taught me wayzgoose: “an entertainment given by a master printer to his workmen each year on or about St. Bartholomew’s Day”.
i think about this in a kiss, how we purse our lips, how we press into each other, how kiss is a small word for an action that feels big - i think about how we have french kiss, how we have a smack on the cheek, a peck. i think about this when we make eye contact, how we have “a moment” that passes between two people like an envelope, one that reads of more, more, more - i think of who gave us the names for obscure things. how shakespeare gave us elbow, and what did we call it beforehand.
what word is there for the way your eyes look when you talk about your favorite thing. we have phosphorescence, the property of emitting light, but that’s not right. what word is there for how it feels with the floor against your back while you’re watching sunbeams filter dust motes. there’s languid, relaxed, but that doesn’t work. what word is there for how it feels beside your best friend, listening to them laugh, knowing this moment is a pocket that keeps all of the good things inside, one i will tuck myself into again and again, one i am somehow distant from even though i’m enjoying it: watching the moment become a memory i think of fondly, even while it’s happening.
there’s kissing, there’s leaning in, there’s words for summer and fireflies in jars and fall creeping in. there’s words for leaves and the smoke in the air from breathing and there’s words for the fire of a sunset on an autumn evening. i think about how we made words for things. the oxford dictionary gives us 171,476 current words to make sense of things. how we let poets give us syllables for how it feels to fall into someone’s arms (melting) and someone who talks a lot (gregarious) and vast burning (conflagration). the beauty of language is we have a word for that until we don’t have a word for that and then poetry comes in.
if i kiss you i think: portent. if i kiss you i think of telling you here is where our lips purse here is where my sins absolve here is the paroxysm of my heart. i kiss you and i think: what words do other people use when they need to fill in the emptiness of “love”. do they think conflagration, the misery of scorching, or do they think of slow burning. do they think portent. do they think of kisses as french or as just kisses, no purses or bow lips. when they lean in do they melt into it. when they love, is it just that? something specific? or do they mean “the spaces around this word say more than the letters i’m given.”