Tuesday, May 26, 2015
THE MAKING OF A PROPHET by Corey Van Landingham, from Antidote
for Adrienne Rich
Keep it small they said Keep it small
or the city will form a mouth Be careful
not to say mouth or world Don’t say
body Drink your coffee Fuck it
There are gum wrappers on the sidewalk
that reflect all those predator drones
You can almost see them see you You
flip your hair You preen You touch
yourself but you can never see them They
can always see you There is a room
full of men making anything possible It is
the loneliest thing making up worlds
Watching others live their little lives Keep
it small the men are telling you Wave to
the sky No to a bird you are no longer
allowed to name and may no longer exist
You’ve been selected for a very particular
task All you have to do is talk and talk
and talk and not say anything at all This
should be easy They say that too
Monday, May 11, 2015
Ascension by Elmaz Abinader, from This House, My Bones (2014)
For Mahmud Darwish
What do exiles do but continue to walk
in countries where they were not born?
And when they leave are their ghosts alone,
Wandering routes river to home to horizon?
Breath visible from the cold of death
I call you to smoke and vapor
We search for the lost through shards of cement
a crusty coffee cup impossible to read.
The cities are homes as much as they are tombs
you draw the map, a longitude of loss
The names of the storytellers will be catalogued
next to saints, teachers, revolutionaries, and bread makers
How many times can your heart break?
How many ways is writing a surgery?
Mahmud, is it too much to hold
I stand in the square and call for you
You pierce the voices of this city—
the sky over Ramallah is refrain.