#100Days100Poems Day 22

As we mentioned yesterday, the Museum of Modern Art has joined in the voices against the Trumpet nonsense. With each plaque accompanying the art you read

This work is by an artist from a nation whose citizens are being denied entry into the United States, according to a presidential executive order issued on January 27, 2017. This is one of several such artworks from the Museum’s collection installed throughout the fifth-floor galleries to affirm the ideals of welcome and freedom as vital to this Museum, as they are to the United States.”

Today’s poetic response is to [Composition-40-2011] by Shirana Shahbazi, a German artist born in Iran in 1974. It is a chromogenic color print from 2011.

space-painting

 

 

 

Standing on a Ridge on Callisto,
Gazing toward the Sun

“Of course, it’s easy to see
the Red Planet, Mars,
God of War, guardian of agriculture--
and next to him the terrible Deimos,
as if war needed an escalation,
and just beyond is Luna,
that bright white moon doing
all it can to hide the blue dot behind.”
 

        And what is that, exactly?


Nothing worth the trouble--
separated by puddles
they still fight over myths &
borders & trinkets &
colors.
So wrapped up in themselves
we are able to remain here,
unknown
unbothered
uninvaded  
and the sun a kilomètre zéro, blazing bright center,
lighting our way to more,
            far beyond the blue, wet contentious stone. 

© David Siller – Photo and Poem – 2017

.

 

*****

For the first 100 days of the Trumpet administration, this blog will feature a new poem of protest, by my own hand and by others. They will be polished gems, or rough cut drafts of rage, or in process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered. If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. All rights remain with the author. VISUAL ARTISTS ! Do you have something visually poetic that you’d like to submit? GO FOR IT!

Please address any formatting preferences in your email. I will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day. Editing will be limited to obvious errors of spelling and the like.

Read, follow, share, re-tweet, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !

*****

 

#100Days100Poems Day 21

Even the nation’s most important cultural institutions are in the struggle against the cacophony of crazy from Trumpet and his minions. The Museum of Modern Art recently installed work to add voice to the chorus of those of us protesting and fighting. With each plaque accompanying the pieces you read

This work is by an artist from a nation whose citizens are being denied entry into the United States, according to a presidential executive order issued on January 27, 2017. This is one of several such artworks from the Museum’s collection installed throughout the fifth-floor galleries to affirm the ideals of welcome and freedom as vital to this Museum, as they are to the United States.”

Inspired by this, today’s poem will be the first of eventually several ekphrastic pieces responding to some of the works in the MoMA’s collection. The poem, untitled at the moment, simply bears the name of the artist and sculpture. Photos of the piece are the author’s own.

 

 

 

The Prophet 1964
Parviz Tanavoli, Iranian and Canadian, born 1937
Bronze on wood base

I. The Profit
Eyes downcast
 this blockhead leaning or falling back
  hands worse than tied: stopped locked and boxed
   such constraints only propel the reverse
    this is the devolution, where capitalism
     trumps democracy, where regression
      brings a high ROI, at least to the top
      (lean back enough, you’ll see up there)
       hands worse than tied: unable to reach the ballot box
        from this prison of our own (though not the majority of us)
         making the stench in the air comes from the refilled swamp
          a reminder that money does(n’t?) buy democracy

                                                      The Prophet II.
                                                    Eyes high & wide
                                               arms folded & strong
                                         we lean into the future
                                       lean into the struggle
                                    our queer straight immigrant
                                  citizen shoulder to the wheel
                                 you see hollowed stomach,hungry holes
                               this is how we feed ourselves,
                             that pit yearning for freedom
                           this pit to be filled with justice,
                         that with equality, this with light,
                       those with shared bread, shared love,
                     shared dream
                    this is the revolution,
                   where, like comic book heroes,
                 we stand firm, we plant ourselves like a
               “tree beside the river of truth,
             and tell the whole world, No, you move
           because for the struggle forward is the only way


through walls & bans & backroom bargains
through bought pols & bought polls & 
bought nominations & bought abominations
the power of a prophet always mightier than that of the profit

 


© David Siller – Photos and Poem – 2017

.

 

*****

For the first 100 days of the Trumpet administration, this blog will feature a new poem of protest, by my own hand and by others. They will be polished gems, or rough cut drafts of rage, or in process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered. If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. All rights remain with the author. VISUAL ARTISTS ! Do you have something visually poetic that you’d like to submit? GO FOR IT!

Please address any formatting preferences in your email. I will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day. Editing will be limited to obvious errors of spelling and the like.

Read, follow, share, re-tweet, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !

*****

How to Poetry Better (*w/ apologies to Fischli &Weiss)

The Guggenheim Museum here in New York City recently closed a wonderful retrospective of the Swiss artist duo of Peter Fischli and David Weiss. For those unfamiliar with their work (as I was), I suggest reading this from one of the Gallery Guides who posted on the Guggenheim Museum’s blog. Explore the site further to learn more about the exhibit.

 

One of the things that struck me about the retrospective was the infectious sense of play that clung to the works and also influenced museum goers of all ages. You could hear laughter and sighs of contentment, bursts of Aha! as jokes or visual puns sunk in; the entire space was filled with the buzz of people not just talking and reacting to the art, but feeding off its energy and fun. I’m currently working on a poem that more directly deals with the themes of Suddenly This Overview and some of the popular opposites that emerge there. But this present blog post comes inspired by a completely different piece in the exhibit, the Large Question Pot (1984), an enormous painted polyurethane and cloth vessel, filled with dozens upon dozens of questions on the inner wall, written in German in various colors.

large question pot
Photo by Philip Greenberg for the New York Times

 

In keeping with the theme of play (and, in some cases, the juxtapositions found in popular opposites), I wrote answers to some selected questions that the curators translated for the exhibit. These answers, at times short poems, or even poetic bits, or simply sharp responses, were written in quick bursts, as the muse struck, with no rhyme or reason necessarily to unite them, other than the poetic exercise itself. At some point I’d like to find translations of all the queries inside Large Question Pot (my German being, well, non-existent), to continue exploring what Fischli and Weiss bring out of me with their work. Until then, you’ll need to be content with these selections.

 

 

 

 

 

A Kettle of Answers to

Select Queries from Large Question Pot

When does the money get here?

Tuesday. As long as I get the burger today.

Should I put a red hat on?

No.

Should I sing?

And dance. But no beatboxing. Or humming.

Or mumbling. Or made up lyrics. Read the

karaoke screen for gods’ sake!

 

To whom is the moon useful?

Wooing lovers & lost wanderers & whitening

launderers & leaping wagyu & wage deficient laborers &

lonely werewolves & star-struck stuck strivers lacking in accuracy

Am I being watched?

Nice tie.

Should I invade Russia?

Napoléon: Non.        Reagan: No.

HItler: Nein.                Genghis Khan: Maybe.

        McDonald’s: HELL YEAH!

Should I go to the zoo?

Old MacDonald: But there are so many creatures on my farm

Ol’ Dirty Bastard: Brooklyn zoo!

Ol’ Man River: Roll along, jus’ roll along

Old Man: No, The Sea

Who governs the city?

Mr. Mayor, cousin to the congressman, son of the

senator, consort to the queen, lackey to the lords,

monkey for the mob, that sniveling sot standing at the open bar.

Why must I always fight?

Because of your honor. I’m a man

hero dreams etc, etc

Should I lie?

awake at night the mind swarming with thoughts lapping worries in photo-never-finishes?

saying the thing which is not? I love you.

down? Only if the ache has reached the tips of your fingers

Am I the chosen one?

Let’s review. She chose you and divorced you. They hired

the other candidate. The bouncer left the velvet rope up.

They skipped your number at the butcher’s. They called another name

down on The Price Is Right.

Sans scar, sans midichlorians, sans hammer, sans scantron, sans prophecy,

sans sword, sans portent, sans oracle, sans sacrifice, sans adoptive parents,

I’m gonna go with no.


Is there another bus?

The SMS says six minutes and the schedule says

yes and the queue says probably and the traffic

eventually and past experience at some point and

all I want is a window seat and a courteous driver

 

Why are the forests silent?

With no hikers and no bears and no trees or leaves or

loves falling, they’re really just enjoying the peace.

Do I know everything about myself?

A. YES                C. Maybe

B. NO                  D. Can I?

E. ALL or NONE of the above

Why can’t I sleep?

GCS nighttime

Who will pay for my beer?

On Tuesday, when Wimpy catches me back for

that burger, I got your beer.

Where are the galaxies moving to?

On up. To the east side. Where they’ve finally got a piece

of the pii-iii—ie.

What does my dog think?

IMG00016-20110103-1419

Do I stink?

Yes. At many things. But not hygiene. I bathe like nobody’s

business. Soaps and scrubs and shampoos and exfoliants

keep me clean. But they’re no help to my math skills,

flirting, dancing, drawing, and picking the fastest line at the market.

Was I a good child?

Grandma J: Indeed, the family’s Great White Hope

Grandpa L: I won’t get to see

Grandma L: Save the one time I drove you, wiperless, in the rain

Grandpa F: I won’t get to see either, but drink this beer, it’ll open your appetite

Grandma E: You’re too young to be bad, and I definitely won’t get to see

Mom: That’s my boy

Dad: Until you got your license

Brother J: Hell no, you just got away with it

Sister A: Probably-obably


Is the New Ice Age coming?

–Man, are they making another one of those movies?

or, alternatively,

–Of course, and the polar bears are more than a little impatient.


How far can one go?

Space-You-are-here-950x320

Is everything a game? And is it over?

If yes, up up down down left right left right

A B B A start select start. Then 99 lives.


Am I not right to ask?

it’s just that I never ask the right

questions or proffer the right answers

she: can I get your number? me: really?

she: flirts. I flirt. 20 minutes. Dammit I should’ve asked for her number.

Should I go? Should she stay?

Is she coming? Is she going? Is it love? Is it

like? Is it over yet? Is it really starting?

How will I know? How will I know? How will I knooooow?

Who you gonna call?

Naughty? Nice?

Candidate A? B? R? D?

When does it end?

 

 

From the Garage to the Studio–DIY Sculpture Poetry

In an effort to switch things up a bit, the poem for this post,

“Picasso the Sculptor Sculpting Sculptures Scrupulously and Scrappily in his Workshop”

will simply be presented as audio, with a gallery of photos showing some of the works mentioned in the poem. A post at a later date may include the text of the poem.

 

 

Oh Book Review!–Andrew Lewis Conn’s “O, Africa!”

o africa covverWith “O, Africa!,” Andrew Lewis Conn has given us a hilarious, surprising, touching novel set in the late Twenties, during the transition from silent films to talkies. The story follows a pair of film makers, twin brothers, Micah and Isidor (Izzy) Grand. Micah, the brash, bold, and risky one, is the director; Izzy, the cinematographer and editor, is more reserved and unassuming, preferring to see the world behind the lens and in the editing room. The novel opens with the duo finishing a film shoot in Coney Island, teaming up their star comedian, Henry Till, with the legendary, even in his time, Babe Ruth.

From there the curtains rise, revealing a cast of characters that will intrigue and delight you until the final page, including Arthur Marblestone, the founder and president of Imperial Pictures, thus employer of Micah and Izzy, who finds himself over his head in debt; Micah’s mistress, Rose, a light-skinned woman from Harlem, and her younger brother, Early; and a collection of unsavory criminal types with whom Micah’s gambling habit creates his own set of economic problems.

In due course, Marblestone devises a sure-fire scheme to end the financial woes of Imperial Pictures, and enlists the help of the Grand brothers. Micah, clever and resourceful as ever, warms to the idea as he sees the potential for improving his own situation. The company president sends the filmmakers, along with a tiny cast-and-crew combo, including Henry Till, to Africa, where they will film a new comedy and collect as much stock footage as possible, which Marblestone hopes to sell to other production outfits, putting Imperial Pictures back in the black. Through this unlikely journey, we are witness to several grand and glorious love stories: of two brothers for each other, for cinema as art and as work, for those closest to them, and those they meet along the way. All the while, they come to terms with the racial attitudes of their times, the changing and growing Hollywood industry, and their own strengths and weaknesses.

Mr. Conn has not simply delivered to us an engrossing narrative, but he’s done so with vibrant, pulsating, read-it-out-loud language. There is humor coursing through the pages; your laughter will be so audible the other passengers on the train will likely glance at you sideways with concern. There is also much tragedy, and your gasps will gain you the unsolicited offers of an inhaler from compassionate asthmatics.

One of Conn’s most effective tools for drawing us into his language is his manner of listing, giving a catalog of images or descriptions to fill the reader’s imagination with the world he’s created. Early in the novel, while trolling for a place to use the restroom,

Micah takes in the passing parade of women with parasols and men in derbies, brownies, and bowler hats; brilliantined barkers and sailors on shore leave; cigarette girls and cotton-candy kids; the entire ready-made collage of movement, light, and faces.

The list, short and sharp like a good bark, asks to be read aloud as the plosive bs and the hard k sounds pulse the reader along. Such techniques also serve Conn well as a source of humor, as when Sidney Bloat, an associate of Marblestone’s, explains the history of the red carpet.

“Well, you see, the red carpet was originally implemented as a weapon; rolling out the red carpet was a battle cry, the red-carpet treatment a signal for certain death from above…because bundled inside said carpet, trundled inside said tapestry, rolled inside said rug, was a coterie of mercenaries, marksmen, private armies, jubilant assassins, soldiers of fortune, anarchist bomb throwers, a band of evil angels, and a collection of the worst, most rotten scoundrels the eighteenth century had on offer. The carpet was bad, bad, bad. And it was red….Hence the sanguine coloration.”

The alliteration, the enthusiasm of the speaker, the culmination of the repetitions, all draw the reader to laughter as one envisions a wildly gesticulating salesman delivering his little history lesson in the middle of a theatre. And the diatribe only serves as an introduction to Bloat’s even more enthusiastic description of the red carpet on which he, Izzy and Marblestone are currently standing. Laughter comes loud and often through the descriptions of Henry Till’s action on camera, or the description of Micah’s first experience with a now-legal-in-some-states herbal cigarette.

Though thoroughly littered with humor, Mr. Conn has also infused his novel with heartbreak and longing, life and death. At the risk of saying too much, giving away even more of the story, or the risk of saying too little, overly relying on some meager quotes and my own enthusiasm’s ability to seep through cyberspace, get yourself a copy of “O, Africa!” It will speak to your inner movie buff, adventurer, voracious reader, or prose interpretation performer. Your shelf, and the investigating eyes of houseguests will be much pleased with this addition.

 

For more information or to find out more about the author, follow the links to Random House.

 

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Remember when L.L. said “…sometimes I stare at the wall…”?

Traces…Fragments…Figments

or

bedroom as

“…one message…”

and then the voice, honey (?) coated

    It’s…I know you weren’t expecting this call,

    but I thought you should know…”

            I placed the phone on the pillow beside me,

            a catch in my throat

*

on the mattress, closed,

    leather-bound, makara-colored cover beneath my left hand

        in the right, a still-capped pen

    wondering if ever it would write

*

the night stand—one corner balancing books

a tulip-shaped flute, glistening from the rosé

    bubbling inside—I couldn’t yet drink

                —on the nose: raspberry, cherry, a bit of rose?

*

lamp knocked to its side, bulb burning

on the wall hands open and close

unlike the child’s game, their shapes

    unrecognizable

*

it should’ve been your voice caught dripping into my ear

it should’ve been your lips on the tulip, your fragrance weighing the air

it should’ve been your cinnamon skin beneath tipsy fingers,

and then my tongue

 

it should’ve been your shadow on the wall

“Tingling like a first kiss, crazier than a death wish…” or just really ekphrastic!

The Kiss

22 February 1930, charcoal & oil on wood panel

painted by Picasso, probably on a cupboard door

It is awkward, yes, but all the better

to practice

You must first, my dear,

lean your head towards me,

hair falling behind

you like waterfalling just before

    the great maw of tropical cave

your tongue, sharp, isosceles

    must invite

you sir, tilting head slightly back

    your upper lip above hers

    your tongue, too, arrowhead, trying to pierce her

keep your eyes open

it is awkward yes

do not touch tongues

    yet

open-mouthed—imagine devouring the other

        engulf breath and voice and time

do not touch tongues

    yet

open-eyed enter the other

mouth, consume and be consumed

    hold there

        first kiss, first loss

        I will sketch you

        it is awkward yes

        two forms always almost coming

            together

         awkward—to enter

            the other

                in voice & breath

                awkward

                forward

                you will not get this back

except perhaps when you open cupboard door.”

the kiss
With apologies for the size, it refused to get bigger.

When the Freeway of Love zooms to a dead end.

The Transporting Nature of Nostalgia

    I miss the days of being stuck at

stoplights

        that great white stripe, three, four lanes across

     from which we all get to go

        protected left on arrow, protected right on arrow

            red yellow green—safety in

                order, order in

                 chaos

Nowadays we’re all on the great concrete way

    fancy German sports sedans blazing

        on the right

past old American hand-me-downs

    poking and prodding along left lanes left

        for passing

& overpasses, overpassing the common volk & the homeless folk

        the strip mall windows and drive-through hopes

     overpasses over the traffic light democratics

    open lanes for overtaking and overbraking

    I miss the days of underground trains and

        on-the-ground buses, their keep-me-in-touch-

        with    humanity    hanging on to

this black strap, that cross bar

            offering my seat to the blue-haired lady

        or the hunched and forgotten vet, my

    reach to the heavens and hanging strap

                to over stand these passengers

    and this public transport transporting

        to overstanding

                        beyond the Big Budget Expressway, costly toll

            for the         mega-traffic, stock still

            as the         mega-steeple

            and the         mega-cross

            from the     mega-church

                mark time and distance to making it

home

        The Big Concrete Way: the Parking Lot of the Future

            always between exits, never getting to speed

    I miss the days of walking blocks, strolling hat-tips to

            friends, friendly hellos to vendors and

        vagrants and visitors and café-seated voyeurs

    I miss elbow bumps and excuse mes and

        lovely days and walk signals and don’t walk waits

            and pretty dresses and shiny leather shoes

                and setting my own pace and avoiding

        dog droppings and paper crumples and ice patches

            and even the occasional “you dropped this”

            or “no after you”

            or “could you tell me how to get to —”

At what cost the Freeway, with its perpetual deconstruction-construction

    orange cones lining narrow lanes and late-night delays

where speed limits jump and cruise controls shudder

    where parkways are

                from

                5AM to 9AM

                    &

                    3PM to 7PM

    moon day to fried day

            speed on down, speed on down the road

        past these people and these problems

            past these parties and this progress

        speed on down, speed on down the road

            Don’t you carry nothing that might be a load

                what with the exits not clearly marked and all

Oh My! That’s So Ekphrastic!

Ekphrasis, in Greek, means “description.” I’m a big fan of ekphrastic poetry, that genre that, on the most basic level, is writing something descriptive about a visual representation (a painting, a photo, a sculpture). As the Poetry Foundation defines it, “An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the ‘action’ of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning.” The Academy of American Poets offers some fine-tuning that syncs nicely with my own work, saying “[M]odern ekphrastic poems have generally shrugged off antiquity’s obsession with elaborate description, and instead have tried to interpret, inhabit, confront, and speak to their subjects.”

Since my first encounters with the poetry of Ferlinghetti, and my first attempts with the flaming giraffes of Dalì, I have grown quite fond of art as inspiration. Thus is born the first poem inspired by the art of David Sweeney. His work, if you’ll forgive the brief, Cliff Notes-style, non-poetic ekphrasis, reminds me of the dream-like canvases of the Surrealists; his paintings make use of collage, of mixed media, which always summon my attention, reminiscent of the way I gravitate to some of the works of Picasso, Ernst or Braque. I am especially drawn to the appearance of text–newspaper clippings, stenciled quotes, scribbled phrases–in his art; the intersection of image and word begging for the poet’s ekphrasis. Lest I ramble on too much, I leave you to look at his œuvre at your leisure. If you find something you like, snatch it up, it’s hard to find good original art these days.

And now, to the poem.

It was first inspired by David Sweeney’s painting #517.

It can also be found at http://www.davidsweeneyart.com/works/b/david-sweeney,paintings, the second painting from the top.
It can also be found at here, the second painting from the top.

The italics (except for the French), including the title, are taken from some articles in the NYTimes regarding air travel. The thrust of the poem, in language and subject, has changed repeatedly, and the last line was a surprise, unexpected in its return to a minor detail in the painting, as I finished this, draft version 1.5.

Whatever Happened to First Class?

First, let’s get things straight. The euphemism for first caste has got to go, cleared for takeoff–always a misnomer misnaming for misdirection. Even before da Vinci’s device and the Wrights’ winged wonder, the ocean-gliding, wave-riding masted masterpieces kept the dividing line pretty clear, offering free passage to free labor for the not-so-free folks packed in the hold, barely holding on to their humanity, barely holding on to their little-scrap lunch.

So what happened to first caste? Classy became the label rather than the behavior, fancy china replacing fine company, fancy curtain replacing fine linen. And in first caste, room to stretch and kick, lie flat as capital’s whore, 300 channels to choose as you charge IMac and IPad and IPod and IPhone and IBeeper and ISnob, sip champagne, the warm wet sandpaper towel wiping from your face the grime of those in the back of the bus, the tail of the plane, the bottom of the boat. High above, the 1 percent fly first class; the .1 percent fly Netjets; the .01 percent fly their own planes.

Meanwhile, tail-side, knees to chest, elbows tucked with three-pretzel packs and chocolate-chip puck, the chosen few of the 99% lucky to escape the surface, grouped into herds by booking for boarding, one movie on one screen, one position for your one-inch seat, unsettle in for takeoff and turbulence.

And on the ground, far below, the (un)lucky 99%, stick in traffic, hostage to the toll road trolls, opt for one of the 300 $ burgers at the 300 fast food joints for the 300 lbs, the only bubbles from the soda machine–bottom caste transport never felt good.

“You go into first class because it’s less horrible than coach.” No cash to pay outright, CapitalOne card hassled to the max? Then it is perhaps with the free upgrade, high miles in your frequent flier club, without mile high club fornicating to give the bumpy flight some purpose. Which seat do you book? Which level are you?

Platinum Premium or Bronze Business, Elite Economy or Cushy Coach
Poached Ivory or Plated Silver, Gaudy Gold or Dazzling Diamond
these are the new
Fabulous First, Satisfying Second, Thirsty Third, Struggling Steerage which were
Captain and mates and crew and slaves from
King and Court and Lords and Serfs. Plus ça change, the more it stays the same.

And somewhere in the middle, betwixt the heaven and the hell, the poet, drifting in his dirigible, observes them all.

Let’s get poetical, political, I wanna get poetical, political, let me hear the body politic talk!

For Margo.

W. S. Merwin once said that all poetry is political; Jean-Paul Sartre called for a littérature engagée, engaged in the politics, absurdities, and struggles of the human condition.  From Whitman to Merwin, Prévert to Ferlinghetti, Ginsberg to Chuck D, Gil Scott-Heron to Reg E. Gaines, Baudelaire to Césaire, Guru to Solaar, poetry has long been engaged with some struggle. The best poetry (or any art for that matter) frames for us a way to deal with the difficult; sometimes poets find just the right words to express our outrage or shock.  They speak in our silence, and use silence to speak.  Some avoid rhyme in their efforts to reason, some eschew reason so that we may escape through their rhyme.

Muddled clichés aside, my own attempts to grapple with Boston (and Newtown and Aurora and Oak Creek and Kabul and Baghdad and a million other  cities and lives) are still in process; being thunderstruck at the inaction of leaders and politicians, my own wordlessness still thumbs through Webster’s and the OED, looking for just the right utterance to break the silence.   Others have already cleared their throats, already put pen to paper, already clackety-clacked on keyboards.

So it is with Margo Berdeshevsky, brilliant poet and brilliant photographer; an artist, whose voice sings true, of whom Sartre and Merwin would be proud.  She is also a dear friend and kindred spirit, a “soul mate” in these days of increasing soullessness in our topsy-turvied world.  I share with you a brief excerpt from her “Postcards to the Body Politic” and link you to the full poem, as well as to ma chère Margo giving voice to the weight.  When, in troubled times, the politicos and the press fail to speak truth, to state the obvious, to ask the difficult questions, it is to the poets we must turn, and at this moment, to Margo:

Postcards to the Body Politic

i

But there’s more. First, I cannot write dear. I cannot call you dear. I am too deeply, deeply  — and I have never believed in. Before. But now so much less. No. So much less. Dear illusion of dear. Dear I-could-not-write. You will not mind. You do not love.

Dear body. Dear if-my-right-hand. Dear how can you love only your own soul? Dear why would you feed only one eye? Not the hand. Not the belly. How can you love the head, not skin, not the water?

You make me cry. You make me sadder than women, sadder than men, even sadder than your —No. You, and your guns. Do you even love your hands? Can you love your mind? Body dangerous. I try to call you dear. Enraged at your arms, enraged at your desire, enraged at your eyes. If I am too angry to love you — what, what will we do?

To read the entire poem, simply click here. And the streaming audio of Margo’s words.