Posts Tagged ‘ poet ’

Revisioning America – The works of Gerald Vizenor – Vimeo

Exit Strategy by Kazim Ali – Poems | Academy of American Poets

Exit Strategy

Kazim Ali

I hear the sound of the sprinkler outside, not the soft kind we used to run through
but the hard kind that whips in one direction then cranks back and starts again.

Last night we planned to find the white argument of the Milky Way 
but we are twenty years too late. Last night I cut the last stargazer 
lily to wear in my hair. 

This morning, the hardest geography quiz I’ve ever taken: how does one carry
oneself from mountain to lake to desert without leaving anything behind?

Perhaps I ought to have worked harder. 
Perhaps I could have paid more attention.
A mountain I didn’t climb. Music I yearned for but could not achieve.

I travel without maps, free-style my scripture, pretend the sky is an adequate
representation of my spiritual beliefs. 

The sprinkler switches off. The grass will be wet. 
I haven’t even gotten to page 2 of my life and I’m probably more than halfway through,
who knows what kind of creature I will become.

Kazim Ali

Source: Exit Strategy by Kazim Ali – Poems | Academy of American Poets

Poems and Poetics: Rochelle Owens: Beloved the Aardvark, Part Three

[The third & concluding section of Owens’s major opus]

Evolution is smart

clean  clear and simple  gaps
in the sequence of
events laid down and eroded away
hungry or thirsty
eat or drink  body of data
data of body
audible inaudible
the rhythm the rhythm of
spontaneous change
letters spell out
o b l i t e r a t e
a jaw opens and closes
carnal/spiritual
vigilant the babe sucking
              *
On a giant computer
screen  vibrating subatomic
particles shape
the contours of a skull
and in your
mammalian brain  tendons
and nerves pulsate
craving  licking
burning chunks  rupturing flesh
cinnamon  cumin and honey
five lambs
slaughtered for the feast
carnal/spiritual                                                                                                               2
             *
Under an occult sky
of greens and yellows the tattoo
artist bites into an apple
chewing and swallowing
moisture and nutrients flow in
the tattoo artist’s brain
seized with jittery energy
chewing and swallowing
inhaling exhaling  a layer of skin
the skin
a montage of bite marks
chewing and swallowing
inhaling exhaling  the breath blowing
kisses along the digestive tract
spirals of veins
pulsate from mouth to rectum
blood in  blood out
seized with jittery energy
chewing and swallowing
inhaling exhaling  drawing zigzags
of black lines
a layer of skin the skin
the canvas absorbing sunlight
inhaling  exhaling
drawing zigzags
of black lines  drawing a fetal skull
sprouting tooth buds
the universe
contains everything that exists
letters that spell out                                                                                                        3
r u i n s c a p e
           *
After waking
and lying down trust your
instinctual senses
disturbingly informative
tears  mucus
albumen  a goat smile
on your lips
       *
Long ago
an hour ago  only a minute
in the here and now
in the zone
diverging from a course
of events
spirals of wind and fire
layers of brown dust
        *
Out of an ant hill
curved like an embrace
a waft of air
and morning
to evening and evening
to morning
audible  inaudible
an unknown word  letters
that spell out
A m f a t t e h r
                *                                                                                                                4
The bones that form
the Aardvark Venus  rays of light
penetrate your fingers
drawing black lines
spirals of muscles  blood vessels
a long cylindrical tongue
biomorphic  geomorphic
polymorphic  corkscrews of white
smoke
slashes  slashes of solar light
           *
Long ago  an hour ago
only a minute  a black line
shapes itself
an image on a rock
subatomic particles pulsate
the universe contracts
e x p a n d s
           *
The warmest of mothers
moves in circles  massive her claws
digging  searching
body of data  data
of body  the Aardvark Venus
her rabbitlike ears
heating to the
temperature of human skin
a long cylindrical tongue
work is a binding obligation
blood in  blood out
her breast vein as thick as a finger
mounds of sand appear
disappear
lines of ants appear  disappear
a hissing sound
suffer the Aardvark children
           *
Listening to Willie Nelson
you witness a lovely desert sunset
a goat smile on your lips
mounds of sand appear
disappear and morning to evening
evening to morning
9 breakfasts  5 lunches  6 dinners
white the summer blossoms
a girl in your arms  hungry or thirsty
eat and drink
           *
On the wall of a cave
in the Sahara  in a zone diverging
from a course of events
disease  famine  torture  war
in a sacred refuge or a tomb
Behold!  the Aardvark Venus
luminous the overlapping
charcoal drawings  charcoal fed
with wind and fire
charcoal fed with blood and sunlight
           *
Earth  Air  Fire  Water
hormonal forces evoke
the rhythm of spontaneous change                                                                           6
inhaling  exhaling
moisture and nutrients
flow through your mammalian brain
inhaling  exhaling
the universe contracts  e x p a n d s
seized with jittery energy
inhaling  exhaling
flexing  contracting  evoking
the rhythm
the rhythm of spontaneous change
disease  famine  torture  war
rays of light
penetrate your vulva  scrotum
sphincter
illuminate your heart
your hand cupping the little god
mounds of sand appear
disappear
out of an ant hill curved
like an embrace
Earth  Air  Fire  Water
– Rochelle Owens
[author’s comment: To look at the image of an Aardvark is to take a cosmic Rorschach test, and like a cubist mural is both a microcosm and macrocosm.  You understand
Intuitively – a Cartesian resolution of body and spirit.  The poem presented here is the third of a series of poems titled ‘Beloved the Aardvark,’ related I suppose to the poem ‘Devour Not the Elephant’ that appeared earlier in Poems and Poetics.” (Rochelle Owens).
      And Marjorie Perloff on the unique power & pitch of Owens’ exploratory work, from the 1960s to the present: ‘Rochelle Owens’ writing … is sui generis. She is, in many ways, a proto-language poet, her marked ellipses, syntactic oddities, and dense and clashing verbal surfaces recalling the long poems of Bruce Andrews and Ron Silliman. But Owens is angrier, more energetic, and more assertive than most of her Language counterparts, male and female, and she presents herself as curiously non-introspective.” 
      Part One of Beloved the Aardvark can be found here on Poems and Poetics, and Part Two can be found here.]

 

Source: Poems and Poetics: Rochelle Owens: Beloved the Aardvark, Part Three

Audre Lorde’s Berlin – The New York Times

CreditAndreas Meichsner for The New York Times

Joy Harjo Is Named U.S. Poet Laureate – The New York Times

A Longhouse Birdhouse: HANNE BRAMNESS ~

Paul Klee pictures

Source: A Longhouse Birdhouse: HANNE BRAMNESS ~

“American Sonnet for My Past and Future Assassin” by Terrance Hayes

“American Sonnet for My Past and Future Assassin”
by Terrance Hayes

When James Baldwin & Audre Lorde each lend
Stevie Wonder an eyeball, he immediately contends
With gravity, falling either to his knees or flat on
His luminous face. I’ve heard several versions
Of the story.  In this one Audre Lorde dons
Immaculate French loafers, turtlenecked ballgown,
And afro halo. An eye-sized ruby glimmers on
A pinky ring that’s a hair too big for Jimmy Baldwin’s
Pinky. He’s blue with beauty. They’re accustomed
To being followed, but now, the eye-patch twins
Will be especially scary to white people. Looking upon
Them, Wonder’s head purples with plural visions
Of blackness, gavels, grapples, purrs, pens. Ten to one
Odds God also prefers to be referred to as They & Them.

Source: “American Sonnet for My Past and Future Assassin” by Terrance Hayes