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Wáhta Speaks by Rod Leith

Rod Leith is an American writer, editor, and musician currently residing on Florida’s Space Coast. Born and raised in New Jersey, he feels a strong connection to that state’s literary legacy, particularly the contributions to modern poetry of William Carlos Williams, Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, and Patti Smith. He also has a growing interest in the lyricists of the Great American Songbook, such as Lorenz Hart and Johnny Mercer, and how their work played a part in the development of American modernism. He studied English Literature at the University of Central Florida and works as an editor for McGraw Hill. His musical endeavours have ranged from free jazz to art-folk projects, in which his poetry has always been prominently featured. His work has been published by the New River Press.


Your language is not

like long ago

when clutched phrases

     nuzzled earth,

clear notes

     caressed the sky.


Your lives are wasted,

rituals swollen

     beyond necessity,

nothing more than spearheads

     cast in darkness.


Too bitter to counter the charge

of apprehension’s vessel,

I can no longer tolerate

grim bipeds

                        green rituals

                                                  cannot bind.

       I’ve lost control,

       anxiety clause of worldwide mind,

       counterfeit animals waste these streets.

       What care ever comes from these two-legged



We trees are last to know:

an abattoir of spaddled turbines

stripped my bark,

charred my crown,

in deliquescing twilight.


       Now I’m captivated underground,

       in finely minced tallow of flesh and bone,

       spirits once content in umbra,

       wrapped warily in hallowed fronds.


She plays her book

like an instrument,

     in conspiracy

     to bring us clamour;

four-footed futurists

massage my roots

     with phantom memories

     of propellered fruits.



I once made peace,


    wind and sun,

but you never listened

to the splash

                         of dewdrops

                                                  on blades of grass

                         from the


                                      of lobes and teeth.



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