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Friday, February 18, 2011

Ocean Dream #48




Ocean Dream #48

He came from the sea. His voice water, splash, spray, and crash, crash.
A lull sometimes when I’d swim on my back, legs out, arms out, starfish to his sparkle. I’d float in perfect balance when still, and then I’d dive into his lexicon. Small fish in jewel colors with intelligent eyes looked back at me, questioning. I was scared of a clown fish, swam away from it. It did not chase me as I thought.

            And then he’d speak from a mount of rocks, sea-glass words in blue, brown beer bottle glass, sometimes a broken shard from a perfume bottle that smelled of oyster shells. I’d often cut my feet on his words and get pinned in by the tide, wait on a rockery, watch condors fly with their absurd wings, wait for the ebb to dash back over to the sound’s mud. My footprints embroidered glyphs on rocks.

            He would leave me then with a few foamy words, green at the tips. I’d kayak over the wakes of this language. Sometimes I’d make it all the way in, but mostly I’d capsize, swallow salt water, cough up froth and spit and pant on the shore like some gill-less angel fish, mouth open sucking air. Then I’d wait for the storm he’d become, rainy words drizzled me and I sat in silence and listened. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Chronicles on Violence: The Congo Sequence

Eve Ensler and River
Dr. Denis Mukwege and River


Brandi Walker, me and my son
Chronicles on Violence: The Congo Poems with a forward by the author:

The following series of poems is for publication in an anthology of 18 word poems. Each of the eighteen poets is submitting 18 poems. My poems are a sequence based on gender-based violence--a cheerful topic I know, but one which needs much, much more discussion. I have previously published the first 10 or so pieces. Here is a sample from the section on the Democratic Republic of the Congo. One of my dearest friends, Brandi Walker (in above photo) works in the Congo against gender-based violence and volunteered at Panzi Hospital for 2 years. Two years ago I was fortunate enough to meet Dr. Denis Mukwege of Panzi hospital when he was out with Eve Ensler. This picture is of him and my son, and Eve with my son. He should win the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. Mark Cobley of Red Ceilings Press in the UK was kind enough to ask me to submit, check him out: The Red Ceilings. The anthology will be published by Knives, Forks and Spoons Press. For more information about the Congo please go to: Friends of the Congo


Chronicles on Violence: A Poem Sequence (con't)



Democratic Republic of the Congo I

So many shadows
the moon sharpens
into light.

Your body hard-packed
mud, against their
thrust and heave.

Democratic Republic of the Congo II

“They killed my brother
because he would not
have sex with me.”

No answer
in Swahili
or French.

Democratic Republic of the Congo III


Firewood bends her
to the child
of the soldier
who killed
her brother.

Here’s an X for him.

Birdsong

She paints
hours into
finch’s wings--
watches them float
in linseed oil.

Throws
her bed
away.

Sleeps
on the
floor.