Echoencephalogram | Teen Ink


March 17, 2014
By GraceTheFriendlyGhost SILVER, Midland, Michigan
GraceTheFriendlyGhost SILVER, Midland, Michigan
8 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:

As has been instructed by the teacher of my 5th hour
Writing Workshop class,
I open the dictionary in front of me.
My eyes close-- the topic of the world’s next best work
of fiction or poetry or whatever
rests in the hands of fate, and I can feel Fate
interlocking his fingers through mine.

BOOM-- contact. skin to page,
flesh to ink, sparks
I open my eyes and the word we’ve all been waiting for
comes slowly, agonizingly into focus.
The lenses in my eyes aren’t fast enough for me.

what the...

I sit back in my seat and seriously consider the
idea that this book could quite possibly be rigged.

I don’t quite remember the precise paragraph detailing
the specific parameters that could possibly classify an object as
an Echoencephalogram.
But after doing some digging on the internet, I was able to recover
the discovery that an
“Echoencephalogram” (ahem)
is a tool which utilizes the reflection of ultrasonic waves
to create a detailed map of the brain.
The procedure is, supposedly, painless--
but I wouldn’t really know.
I have never before seen nor received nor heard mention
of the mysterious contraption known as

I raise my hand, ask if we really, really have to use the word
that has chosen us-- my teacher asks me what
lucky collection of syllables I have come across and I stumble
only slightly as I pull the word
like a strand of hair from my tongue:

The class giggles, and I find I am stuck with the word,
like the dirty napkins leftover at your table in a restaurant
from the couple or family whose mess preceded
yours. I suppose I could have just
flipped through the dictionary quietly
once more, or perhaps
selected a more suitable word from memory-- like
loquacious or frotage or
I mean, nobody would have really known, but
I’m always up for a challenge, and already,
my mind has scooted forward in its
sunken armchair, grinning and
fiddling with the word, attempting to solve it like
a rubiks cube, hoping that maybe if I can get the colors matched up
it will reveal an image of inspiration with which I can write something.
Anything. Mediocrity is ok as long as you’re ironic about it.
Tell me your secrets.

I wonder if, by means of an Echoencephalogram, you could
decipher the mind of a poet, pull
unborn phrases from the lobes of our brain like
a child from a mother’s womb. I wonder
if ultrasonic waves could tell you more than I know about myself,
make contact with my cranium and leap away with an unpainted image
of the map of my creativity and all the life that will grow there, if
it could tell the doctors, nurses and staff members
of all of the poems I was destined to write-- or if,

those secrets are kept locked somewhere hidden between
the third and fourth syllables
of the word
waiting to be written like
a child waiting to be born.

The author's comments:
The prompt that inspired this poem was one I'm sure many english teachers are familiar with- open a dictionary and put your finger on a word at random. Somehow, I got the word "echoencephalogram".

Challenge Accepted.

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