Palilalia is disordered speech. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this lesser known vocal tic is "an involuntary repetition of words, phrases or sentences." Sister to echolalia (repeating what others say), and distant cousin to the more forbidding coprolalia (the involuntary use of obscene language), palilalia can feel, on the one hand, like an affliction to be suppressed, and on the other, like a kind of meditative mantra that focuses and intensifies your thought. "Your repetitious tics," the ghost of the poet's mentor, Northrop Frye, tells him, are " the ecstatic rhapsodist's / St. Vitus Dance, slangster's whizzle / and conjuration, philologist's hullabaloo." It isn't a question of how to stop them, but of finding how far they will take you. Jeffery Donaldson offers poems about Tourette's Syndrome, about his loves and blessings, about the erotic life as flavoured by all these, and about the grace of a stillness in the midst of so much mental noise. Paul Val ry said that a poem is never finished, only abandoned. All poets have palilalia, or should have....
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THREE EROGENOUS ZONES
Afterlife ahead better breath brim burning can’t Canada cashew cast chimeras clear climb conjured dark David Solway daydreamed dead depths dream echo eggplant face fall father fire flat water Frost once garden gingerly Gloucester gold leaf gravid hand hear Henry Moore hobbled boat hockey stick hour hurt imagined inside rising downfall intentionally left blank kiss knew life-guard light listen look lost lurching Mark Abley master’s McGill-Queen’s University Press memory mind never Northrop Frye obsessive’s curse ofyou page intentionally left Palilalia Jeffery Donaldson Palilalia Palilalia past phrase plumb poem right poem you circle proscenium Puck pulled right sound rink S.P. Zitner scarcely shambles shuffle sidewalk sight snorts snow snug technician’s tell things thought tongue Touretter’s tics trees trying turned unfinished poem unruly tongue-clucks vanished waiting wave’s inside rising word You’re You’ve