Posted in Poems

Like, ya Know? ~Taylor Mali

In case you hadn’t realized,
it has somehow become uncool
to sound like you know what you’re talking about?
Or believe strongly in what you’re like saying?
Invisible question marks and parenthetical you know?’s and you know what I’m saying’s
have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences?
Even when those sentences aren’t like questions?

Declarative sentences
so called because they used to like, you know, declare things to be true okay?
as opposed to other things that are like, totally, you know, not?
They’ve been infected by this tragically cool
and totally hip interrogative tone?
As if I’m saying, “Don’t think I’m a nerd just ‘cause I’ve like noticed this; okay?
I have nothing personally invested in my own opinions?
I’m just like inviting you to join me on the bandwagon of my own uncertainty?

What has happened to our conviction?
Where are the limbs out on which we once walked?
Have they been like chopped down
with the rest of the rain forest? You know?
Or do we have like nothing to say?
Has society just become so filled with these conflicting feelings of nhye nhye,
that we’ve just gotten to the point where
we’re the most aggressively inarticulate generation to come along since
you know, a long time ago!

So I implore you, I entreat you, and I challenge you:
To speak with conviction.
To say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks
the determination with which you believe it.
Because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker,
it is not enough these days to simply ‘question authority’.
You’ve got to speak with it, too.

~Poem by Taylor Mali
Watch him perform it by clicking on this link.


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