Poem #1 : Totally like whatever, you know? Taylor Mali

I do enjoy reading and listening to poetry. This Taylor Mali poem, Totally like whatever, you know?,  is a nice one to begin with.

In case you hadn’t noticed,

it has somehow become uncool

to sound like you know what you’re talking about?

Or believe strongly in what you’re saying?

Invisible question marks and parenthetical (you know?)’s

have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences?

Even when those sentences aren’t, like, questions? You know?


Declarative sentences – so-called

because they used to, like, DECLARE things to be true

as opposed to other things which were, like, not –

have been infected by a totally hip

and tragically cool interrogative tone? You know?

Like, don’t think I’m uncool just because I’ve noticed this;

this is just like the word on the street, you know?

It’s like what I’ve heard?

I have nothing personally invested in my own opinions, okay?

I’m just inviting you to join me in my 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?

Or do we have, like, nothing to say?

Has society become so, like, totally . . .

I mean absolutely . . . You know?

That we’ve just gotten to the point where it’s just, like . . .



And so actually our disarticulation . . . ness

is just a clever sort of . . . thing

to disguise the fact that we’ve become

the most aggressively inarticulate generation

to come along since . . .

you know, a long, long time ago!


I entreat you, I implore you, I exhort you,

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 have to speak with it, too.

You can download and listen to it here. If you prefer there is a YouTube video.


One Response to Poem #1 : Totally like whatever, you know? Taylor Mali

  1. Arthur says:

    interesting 🙂

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