Daily Archives: October 23, 2014

Diaspora

Never before posted.  From hard copy files — maybe 1993, 1994?  I’d stopped obsessively dating every poem I wrote some years before that.  In terms of page numbers it’s roughly from the same time as poems from my first chapbook, “In The Place Of Definitions,” which was printed in 1994.

Pretty heavily revised.  The original kinda sucked.  Trust me.  This might too, of course.

they burst thru
my door
my body door and
my body opened into 
a vacant store

you stood in the torn way
and held the rain back
wiped the rain back from
the shaken wood and 
didn’t speak until

you said
together let’s forget 
a closure
that won’t come
let’s forget a false home

where we’d hang our misfortune over
the body door as a bad blessing
a wrong message a sad scroll
a temporary prompt
for an unsafe locale

violations were made
they are made whole again
when we
don’t rehang the broken door
instead we together make

a new
door and
until the next break
may we now call
this shelter home


When The Girl In The Famine Photograph Grew Up And Sought Us Out

Originally posted 2/20/2012.

We did not at first believe
how not slight and not brittle
she had turned out to be

We’d thought her so broken
it broke our language
to speak of her so we stopped

and then stayed mostly away from her
(to let her heal herself
is what we said)

When she found out
we were the world
and she was the children

she got angry
and lo and behold
by then was strong enough

to show us how brittle
we’d become
our smooth tongues notwithstanding 

We could not explain
to her satisfaction
why we’d left her alone for so long

We splintered
a little more
each day as we saw

her strength and also 
what scabbed 
and hardened creatures 
we were

Horrible comrades
who lied
and turned away

not even
close
to being

of much assistance
in any guise —
not even

as the condescending parents
we had first appeared to be
and which she’d never wanted anyway