syrinx and systole

syrinx and systole is a book of prose poems and lyrical poems which meditate, with a Buddhist orientation, on philosophical and religious themes such as the relationship between human consciousness and the natural world, and between spirituality and anatomy, and the nature of “voice” in birds and in ourselves, and on the power and limits of language.

The songbird sings from the syrinx, at the bottom of his trachea, where the two bronchi become one. It is a hollow space framed by reverberant cartilage and the smooth muscle tympanum. There are no chords to split and differentiate the breath. The tongue does not direct the sound, nor are there teeth for sibilance, nor labia for nuance.

The song of the warbler comes from an impossibly deeper place in the body than human speech. From below the threshold of distortion. When the vireo sings he feels breath and desire delivered directly to his heart.

If we were to experience such raw song,we would die from uncontrolled internal resonance.

About The Author

Matthew Remski