Further thoughts on the cultural labor of poetry and art. Not merely "is it good?," but "what has it accomplished?"...reviews of recent poetry collections; selected poems and art dealing with war/peace/social change; reviews of poetry readings; links to political commentary (particularly on conflicts in the Middle East); youtubed performances of music, demos, and other audio-video nuggets dealing with peaceful change, dissent and resistance.
Friday, May 23, 2014
new Split This Rock poem: Nicholas Samaras' "Anxiety Attack at 27,000 Feet"
What is that red throbbing over the sound of engines?
Why is a distant war still being talked about in the media?
I can't see my home or Iraq or the Middle East
outside this bowed rectangle of blue altitude.
Who brought these children here?
How will this raven-haired girl grow into her life?
There is no way I can die with this room full of Bostonians.
Why is the serrated coast of New York approaching so.....rapidly?
How many of these faces will separate before the plane.....lands?
We go blind in this whiteness as my stomach descends
and, somewhere far in the back, I can hear an animal.....wailing.
Why am I wearing this black suit of my comfortable life?
Into what country will we even touch down? What if we.....splinter
and explode upon landing, the moment of our most hope and .....relief?
How will my body feel enjoined to metal, shrouded in.....upholstery?
I wish everyone peace, as we slam into the earth of our.....making.
But what is that red throbbing and these murmurs building?
What are all these stern looks of kindness and concern
as hands hold my hands and place the mask over my.....breathing face?
Used by permission.
Nicholas Samaras won The Yale Series of Younger Poets Award for his first book, Hands of the Saddlemaker. His new book, American Psalm, World Psalm, is now out withAshland Poetry Press (2014). He lives in West Nyack, New York.
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