Back in 1999, I wrote a book called Eating Mythos Soup: poemstories for Laura. It contains a short piece that expresses how I feel about words, which I believe says it all. Here it is:
I am obsessed by the sounds of words. I like Old English comical words like mugwort, or marshmallow. I like hushed words spoken in whispers, like neath and ghoul. I like common ordinary words like horn and jump and dog.
I feel words nestled in my mouth, tucked into my cheeks. I smell them and taste them and lick every last drop from the corners of my lips. Then I let them roll and drip like sweet spiced oil off my tongue.
Words like nut have a short sharp crunchy feel as I say them; and when I say honey I can feel the goldenbrown goo thick at the back of my throat. Or consider the word crazy: the bee-tickled Z sound juxtaposed with the terrified EE sound of the y, the harsh C next to the soft liquid R; these are contradictions and make you doubt the location of your mind.
I am enveloped in the sweet glut of words. I jump into them as if they are piles of autumn leaves. I roll around and listen to them crinkle and crisp under my broad soft hips. Or I dive into them as if they were the gooiest darkest mud in the Congo Basin; I let them stop up my ears and my nose and I snort and sneeze and squelch and rub them in my armpits. I hang them on my body like jewels, and I spray them on my skin like perfume. I ornament an decorate and design myself with words.
And I feed myself with words. I suck them in while hot and feel them burn all the way down, and I even crave cold leftover words because they too can hit that blank lonely spot and make the soothing Aahh begin.
Excerpt from Eating Mythos Soup: poemstories for Laura, ©2000, Kim Pearson