Archive for October, 2010
I have a wonderful friend in DC, who sends me poems and love and thoughts and support and encouragement and confidence and musings and inspiration and courage and light, color, glitter and always, laughter.
This is a little poem he sent me today, I thought I would share. He is a long timer in poetry, and a literary activist, and a lovely man. I miss you too E.
We will all lose our jobs
if not today then tomorrow.
A writer calls me asking about
how to get published. They are having
a difficult time. I start to explain
the journey we are on, the poet’s path.
The writer interrupts me and says-
Cut the metaphysical bullshit. I want
a Mercedes Benz.
What do you want?
Today I returned my poems to my lover.
I filed for unemployment.
My heart stopped.
– E. Ethelbert Miller
I have so many tears. So many tears.
The Back of my Throat
There is a slight burning chafing at the back
of my throat where this knowledge resides
somewhere between tear ducts and my lips that purse.
I cannot ask you so much. What should we call my newborn daughter, how to tell
a good watermelon from one that is dry,
just how to sweeten the faces in adversity, and why your eyes
remain bottomless green ether, unbounded by
words. Does he love me enough and
for how long, and maybe you can yell at me to get
off the couch to the gym, we could possibly
cry- together- at the endings of films we will forget, having remembered
nothing but that your curls were close to mine,
and you, thirty years older, would drop the same tears,
and sip tea with mint like we were friends, like this was ordinary family. You would hold me against
divorce papers, and hysterectomies,
tell me this shade of red hair dye makes me appear a washed out
tart, or encourage me to bead more shine into
these robes, or maybe teach me the patience it takes to
carve eggplants into the satiated bodies of
our guests. You could drive my sister cross
states to hang Christmas lights, with no one but
Fairouz and all the Palestinian spirits bequeathed us, for company. You could ring doorbells
like it was no miracle, and usher in the light of all the hidden corners of the world.
You could string together ropes of my broken pieces, wrap
a heart with hands that sculpt birth, make a unit one
of the ways the world breaks me.
I miss you, in all the memories that never happened,
in all the mornings that could have been
a future, in all the words
you never got to say,
in the faces of strangers who did not know to love you. In the countless
mundane moments where only
you would have sufficed.
Everyday, the knowledge burning at the back of my throat,
searches for doorways of forgotten private
languages, hunting the one symbol
that could summon
Who could claim a lover is more important than peace, in a world where the trees are apathetic to us and our tears. Everything is relative. Someone loses a child, we lose our kisses. No one determines the appropriate amount of mourning. This morning is full of contradictions, assuaged only by the power of communing with words. And possibly you, anonymous reader.
the sun has been feeding the leaves
so life could insinuate itself into
a variety of folds
ubiquitous, and cruel.
Maybe a flower will blossom in the absence of wind
the grass is hot and in here,
pulse hides in the eyes of this statue
the way words between us are frozen.
In Africa, a child pleads flies away from his lips, hot too, and thinks of a
I have seen the yellow faces of famine in Pakistan, a
white trembling of stagnation descended
from the sun and its ocean. A small hand inches across the soil,
inert, their bodies strewn are river paths of hurt that the wind
whistles to me, as useless as the
Middle East peace process,
Jerusalem and our flesh lost in the tumult of money speaking to your unfair god.
In here, my restless toes want to wrap our morning
in sheets private, and warm. The ageless sun blinks
white lights into maps forgotten and wayward,
illuminates a path to your arms, overgrown in nettles
Elsewhere in my mind,
a suicide bomber takes the path of least resistance,
rendering poetry useless to safeguard this love.
Limbs shatter across concrete, telling us we have arrived too late.
A man shifts feet in the slow prayer of a Friday afternoon, his heart
pumps faith through a waist that kneels in hope
for requests to a higher entity that could hold us. His form is the prostration
of desire through servitude to the power he imagines
he can wield over death.
I die a little every morning, where even the chocolate of your skin
and all that they baked is tasteless.
A woman bends over the drying lake, scooping hope this taste of liquid
wont make her offspring sick,
but this salt water in my throat, seeping across a face that flies
a horizon of highways to your bed, is parching.
An old lady picks a rose from her bush in the abundant garden of
apathy, wondering why her husband seemed to ache
in his sleep last night, a world of mystery to
her aged hands, now appeasing thorns to find a petal to soothe him.
I have no blossoms inside.
The earth still spins in defiance to my rigid hips.
The moon will come out again tonight to tease me.
The fajr love moans of shoulders entwined will keep the sun in time,
another day mourns this night of indifference
you bequeathed me.
A young woman in labor, racked, holds a bundle of possibilities to
swollen breasts, in hospitals where others have
seen their mothers chopped and stifled. Everything is relative, I think.
But not the frozen words between us,
for they too,
have physics of symmetry and rotation necessary to survive motion, apart.
I am still.
My lungs lose their battle with nicotine, breathe the way my waist
could turn in angular circles to mesmerize
you. You win.
The leaves outside are now making love to the breeze, in playful energy that mocked
my lethargy, and this void.
in the space of my fingers to this voice, swallowing
dryness, a moist memory of you
is vapor rising, and
I awoke this morning longing for what you dreamt.
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