Saturday, July 21, 2012

the in-betweens

I recently read Srikanth Reddy's Facts for Visitors, and also Voyager. Which I really enjoyed. And read another book I didn't really care for, that I won't bother to name, although it too was interesting to look at in order to further understand what it is poets are doing when they cross the border between lineated and prose poems, why they make the decisions they make to break or not to break. I have a stack of books and I'm working through them. Because, really, there's not much else going on. And because I want to get as far on my critical thesis as possible before fall. Before late summer travel really. 

Today I read the first of two Barbara Jane Reyes books I will read. Poeta en San Francisco. In it I found the sounds to be a mixed bag of stunning and lackluster. Sounds to be the first stick by which I measure any writing, of course. Leaving that aside, the project of the book and the execution of it is incredibly powerful. A look at war. And war culture. About that I am still thinking / not yet in a position to comment on. 

From the book I will share an excerpt of a poem, which I am rudely taking out of context, but which (out of context) moved me today. Because it's where I am. The second I will include whole-cloth.


(from one of the epistolary prose poetry parts... p 92)

there are times that missing you is a matter of procedure. now is not one of those times. there are times when missing you hurts. so it comes to this, vying for geography. there is a prayer stuck in my throat. douse me in gasoline, my love, and strike a match.


[agimat kinabukasan]

one day she will build a temple from detritus, dust of your crumbling empires’ edicts; its walls will hold with blood and spittle, brackish water and sun-dried grasses. within these walls she will inscribe her own terms of worship, upon every pillar and column, glyphs resembling earth and ocean. once she had no sharpened stone, no reason for stone, for once the wind bore her words upon its entire wingspan. carved into bamboo, banana leaf, her river poems, her birdsong.

you came then, with your devices, and you will come again, believing yourself to be some cipher, some illuminati, plunder-hungry in secrecy. she will not appease you, but with the fire you once took to her flesh, she will melt down your weapons, forge her own gods, and adorn her own body.

it is for no glory, no father, no doctrine. as it was in the beginning, so shall it be again. in plumes of ash blanketing sky, the land expels that with which she was poisoned. 

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