Poetry Tuesday: C. L. Odell

Self loves C. L. Odell’s poem in the 24 June 2019 New Yorker.

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Geraniums, Front Porch, August 2019

PEONY

An excerpt

So let me have this now
before the blossoms
take my absence
from the yard

and I am again only one-sided,
a living thing responsible
to live, finding myself in tall grass,
whispering back.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

More from “Like the Molave” by Rafael Zulueta y da Costa (Poet, 1915 – 1990)

Like the Molave was a long poem in eight parts, published 1940:

The little brown brother opens his eyes to the glaring sound of

the Star Spangled;
dreams to the grand tune of the American dream;
is proud to be part of the sweeping American magnitude;
strains his neck upon the rising skyscraper of American
ideals, and on it hinges faith, hope, aspiration;
sings the American epic of souls conceived in liberty;
quivers with longing brotherhood of men created equal;
envisions great visions of the land across the sea where
dwell his strong brothers.

Poetry Monday: “Like the Molave”

Excerpt from Like the Molave

by Rafael Zulueta y da Costa (1915 – 1990)

Note: The molave is a Philippine hardwood, resistant to fire, used frequently in the construction of Philippine churches and dwellings, now extinct in the Islands.


VI

My American friend says:

show me one great Filipino speech to make your people
listen through the centuries;
show me one great Filipino song rich with the soul of your
seven thousand isles;
show me one great Filipino dream, forever sword and
shield —
speech eloquent and simple as our My Country ‘Tis of Thee;
dream age-enduring, sacred as our American democracy!

Friend, our silences are long but we also have our speeches.

Father, with my whole heart, I forgive all.
Believe me, your reverence.

 

Throwback Thursday: THE FORBIDDEN STITCH, An Asian American Women’s Anthology (Calyx Books)

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The kind of activism that made Calyx great is here:

Excerpt From Children Are Color-Blind

by Genny Lim

I never painted myself yellow
The way I colored the sun when I was five.
The way I colored whitefolks with the “flesh” crayola.
Yellow pages adults thumbed through for restaurants,
taxis, airlines, plumbers . . .
The color of summer squash, corn, eggyolk, innocence and tapioca.

My children knew before they were taught.
They envisioned rainbows emblazoned over alleyways;
Clouds floating over hilltops like a freedom shroud.

Still Poetry Tuesday: Luisa Igloria

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Luisa Igloria In Her Kingdom

Excerpt from Passing Inspection (First posted in Via Negativa, 22 June 2019)

When my father’s only sister migrated to East
Lansing, Michigan forty years ago, she hand-carried
the x-ray film of her lungs in a large brown Manila
envelope, as proof she didn’t have tuberculosis
or any other malignant respiratory condition
that in the US CDC should be aware of. She came
back to visit only thrice; we never saw her again,

 

Poetry Tuesday: Mary Ruefle

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You’ve wasted another evening
sitting with imaginary friends,
discussing the simplest possible
arrangement of an iris.

— excerpt from “Replica”

 

Poetry Thursday: Luis Palés Matos

Antille, steaming pasture
of freshly crushed cane syrup.
Constant activity of the sugar mill
Molasses Turkish bath.
White-linened aristocracy
skimming over life’s waves
on milk-curdled phrases
and mellifluous metaphors.
Stylized coast drafted
by languid palm trees.

— translated by Rosario Ferré

Luis Palés Matos was born on March 20, 1898, in Guayama, Puerto Rico, a small village with a predominantly black population.

Stay tuned.

Poetry Friday: Kristin Dimitrova

Self spent all morning in the Blue Room, reading poetry.

Photo on 5-9-19 at 7.11 PM

Lina’s Eyes

from Dimitrova’s collection A Visit to the Clockmaker (Southword Editions, 2005), translated from the Bulgarian by Gregory O’Donoghue

Lina, my blind colleague
always came to classes
with her mother.
They’d take the front seats
& while her mother jotted notes
Lina listened with a solemn face.
(I heard it was a medical mistake —
the nurse pushed the wrong button,
the technicians did not repair the laser?)
Once I dared meet her gaze,
peeped out of my eyes
& waved a signal lamp as
they do directing aeroplanes.
I saw just two blank windows.
Behind the masonry a prisoner
walked to & fro hoping to get
used to the darkness.

 

Woe: Milkman, p. 97

Mammy! The heads! They took the heads! Where are the heads? Where’s Lassie, mammy? Where’s daddy? Have the brothers found Lassie? Where’s daddy? Where’s Lassie?

This novel, which won the Man Booker, fully deserved to win.

Graywolf Press has now given self two books that absolutely shattered her: this one, and the translation of Liu Xia’s poetry collection, Empty Chairs.

That is all.

Prairie Schooner: The Opioid Issue (Winter 2018), Guest Edited by Glenna Luschei

Ray Murphy, from a letter quoted in the Introduction by Glenna Luschei:

Virtually all of my writing about opiates stems from writing about injury. I never address opiates as a recreational drug. Be interesting to see how many other submissions you get that come out of injury and pain, and then progress into dependency and possibly full-blown addiction.

The second piece in the issue is Marsha de la O’s Paradise Motel. An excerpt:

Black flame, blue spoon, now the shadow
draws close a cloak as wide as Lake Michigan,
robed and rocked in god’s water, rippling
indigo. From out on the street the rush of cars

weave through their harmonies —
those vessels I’ve entered one by one,
riding out currents on a raft of fire.

Marsha de la O’s new collection, Every Ravening Thing, is just out from Pitt Poetry.

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

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