to the small poem and the quiet voice within

tom montag | from the ox of paradox


Remember, Ben, he tells himself
You are a poet, not a comedian

Not all the notes,
Just the right ones
And the silence

Ben’s silence says
What cannot be said

If you say anything,
You’ve said too much.

The road is long,
Ben says. Bring shoes.

Go so far,
He says, you

Surprise yourself
Coming back.

[from BEN ZEN, THE OX OF PARADOX, Cross+Roads Press, 1999]


  1. Jackie Langetieg

    I love Ben; thanks for reminding me I have his book to enjoy.

  2. Barbara Fitz Vroman

    Tom Montag is another small press writer, who has long
    supplied his significant talent to a limited but appreciative
    audience. This book is one of his most charming and thought provoking.

  3. Jeffrey Winke

    Tom’s voice is clear and true.

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