the quiet world.

Monday, January 14, 2013

In an effort to get people to look
into each other’s eyes more,
and also to appease the mutes,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.

When the phone rings, I put it to my ear
without saying hello. In the restaurant
I point at chicken noodle soup.
I am adjusting well to the new way.

Late at night, I call my long distance lover,
proudly say I only used fifty-nine today.
I saved the rest for you.

When she doesn’t respond,
I know she’s used up all her words,
so I slowly whisper I love you
thirty-two and a third times.
After that, we just sit on the line
and listen to each other breathe.
Jeffrey McDaniel

this is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.
printing it and framing it.


  1. I read this and was like whoa. The short story that I'm working on (which I literally have pulled up and am working on when I saw your post) is about exactly this. I had never heard this poem before, but I've been thinking a lot about what the world would be like if we had a word limit. I guess my story's more about a rebellion than describing what I think the world would be. But this poem just put me back on track with my writing, and is also incredibly beautiful and heartwarming. Thanks for sharing!

  2. ah ah ah. this is one of my favorite poems ever, so beautiful and simple. thanks for sharing, sweet girl. xx

  3. seriously? wow. I wish I had room to print this somewhere and frame it. I have too much going on in my room. but wow, love love love.

  4. Oh my. WHY have I never found and read this before? This is gorgeous!!

  5. my heart just jumped. ah, yes - this is worth framing.