Poets/2

I Am
by Laura Aranda

I am on my way
I am haven’t yet arrived and the in the in-between
I am that bliss you find in a mountain rainstorm
in a solitary blade of grass and
the relief you find in that luscious drink of water
out of that cut-in-two cola bottle
ripe with the sweat of your generous neighbor and
sweet with the taste of use after use after use.
I am discomfort
I am the time before you finally decide to let go, and jump
I am that feeling of nauseous anticipation
I am squashing indecision
I am (finally) forgiving myself
I am the dreamer that weaves hammocks all night long as you rest
I am the chocolate of indulgence and the rib of change
I am the mountains beyond mountains
I am the promise in a mother’s voice
I am arrector pili muscles of your arm hair
I am five extra cordoba
and an origami street gift
I am a child’s honest grin
I am dirt under fingernails
I am the furl of determination
and the magic of murmuration
I am untapped potential
a lotus flower not yet bloomed
I am one thousand Tibetan monks
I am the first breath of forgiveness
I am the OM that vibrates your body
I am lovers mouth at your neck
I am just press send
I am single most important reason
I am dancing with my eyes closed
I am a chemist on the brink of discovery
I am the corner at the edge of your seat
I am the fullness of exhaustion
I am bloody fingers and scraped knees
I am chapped lips meant for kissing
I am the quivering in the loins of truth
I am undeniable
forever unworthy
I am the thumbing of blank pages
I am your heart in your throat
before you say
what you never thought you could share
I am the match lit in the listener
I am the make sense
and the dew on the tent of this morning
I am now.

It’s Amazing, Isn’t It?
by Katie Murphy

I can be, at one moment, sitting at my table in the morning,
Annoyed at my boss for being an incomprehensible moron,
Pissed off at a coworker for talking down to me yet again,
Worried because my checking account balance is lower than I’d like,
Lonely because I am missing certain people dreadfully,
And then, my eyes are welling up
with the beginnings of tears,
And I’m drinking a delicious
coffee drink that I made,
And I’m listening to the different
birds chirping outside my house,
And I’m noticing how good it feels
to stop and not think of going,
And I’m reveling again in the sun and
shadows on my wall,
And isn’t morning light
the most beautiful of all,
And I’m reading your short chapter
about Hedy and thanking God and the universe
letting me meet Katie Consamus,
who could convince me, in rural France,
to log into my SLU banner account
and change my life.

Ode to Kissinger
by Rob Trousdale

right there on my dad’s nightstand
sat Kissinger’s latest
World Order

i opened it to snidbits of
michiko kakutani’s review

illuminating
a powerful zoom lens
a panoramic appreciation of history

i flipped to the index
curious as to how
Kissinger
handled the
details

nothing to be found under:

death flights
in Argentina
of corpses (Chile)
See also Rio de la Plata
Caravan of Death
activities of against peasants
activities of against poets
activities of against priests
activities of against labor organizers
activities of against activists
activities of against students
activities of against teachers
activities of against women
activities of against children
See also Operation Condor
Chase Manhattan
Citibank
corportism
corruption
Credit Suisse First Boston
Chile
mass graves in
disappearances in
firing squads in
clandestine camps in
torture in
death squad killings in
Desaparecidos (the disappeared)
in Argentina
in Brazil
in Chile
in Paraguay
in Peru
in Uruguay
Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation (handbook)
See also torture; 1963 KUBARK manual (Vietnam)
Letelier, Orlando
See also CIA assassinations
massacre
See also Margarita Belen;
Ezeiza; My Lai
Monsanto
See also foreign monopolies; climate
catastrophe; oligarchy
privatization
corporate beneficiaries of
violence of
Reaganomics
See also disaster capitalism ideology;
privatization; deregulation;
economic shock therapy; electroshock
therapy; price shocks; market collapse
unemployment
in Argentina
in Brazil
in Chile
in Paraguay
in Peru
in Uruguay
United Fruit Company
water-boarding
WTO

as we sit down to dinner
my sister asks

so what exactly were you doing in Fort Benning over the weekend?

I respond with a shrug and ask

is dad doing martinis tonight?

A Quick Note to You about My Mother
by Yael DiPlacido-Eastman

If you tell my mother that Jesus loves her
She will tell you of her mother who had to wear a giant cross to survive the Kozaks
She will tell you about her father who almost didn’t survived the Kozaks
She will tell you about her brother and many aunts and cousins who were murdered in Jesus’s name
If you tell my mother that Israelis are destroying
Olive trees on Palestinian fields
She will cry and will call you a liar
Or at least, this was her response to me
If you tell my mother that they are not looting Jewish stores
But the stores of those who are complicit with racism
She will look at you as if you were a creature from another planet
Or at least that’s how she looked at me
And if you tell my mother that America is the promised land of the Jews
She will probably do what she did to her coworker fifty years ago
When she heard him say the word Kikes
And will grab the closest book, so she could smash it upside your head.
I love my mother. Just like you, she taught me to care about justice
And just like you and me, she can’t always see everything there is to see
Please don’t say such things to my mother

Words for America, New York Specifically
by Katja

I wrote this on July 4th at 12:50 am and think it kinda relates to some of the questions you asked me in a recent voicemail.

new york you have taught me i can make it anywhere
new york you have taught me how to stand on a moving subway car
new york you have taught me the color of my skin
new york you have taught me the colors and stars of the puerto rican flag
new york you have taught me about section 8
new york you have taught me how to say no
new york you have taught me about ghettoization
new york i have learned how to hail a taxi
new york i have learned where to find beer for $1.75
new york i have learned about “blended families” and “nontraditional students”
new york, i am going to use words like pain
(new york, i am going to use words like survival)
new york i have walked uptown and downtown
i have shattered the illusion of the american dream
new york i am beginning to speak your language
new york fuck you
new york i love you, but you’re bringing me down
new york you’re the apple of america’s eye
new york i have crossed your bridges
i have seen your dirty laundry
i have puked on your subway platforms
i have cried underground
new york i have fucked in your bedrooms
new york i have chased down your buses
new york i know someone who shot someone
new york, you don’t know me
new york i am angry
new york i’m exhausted
new york you delight me
new york i am ready

This page is part of my book, Dear Love of Comrades, which you can read here.

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