Saturday, June 20, 2009

An Anonymous Poem from Iran

Friday the 19th of June, 2009
Tomorrow, Saturday
Tomorrow is a day of destiny
Tonight the cries of Allah-o Akhbar
Are heard louder and louder than the nights before

Where is this place?
Where is this place where every door is closed?
Where is this place where people are simply calling God?
Where is this place where the sound of Allah-o Akhbar gets louder and louder?
I wait every night to see if the sounds will get louder and whether the number increases
It shakes me
I wonder if God is shaken

Where is this place where so many innocent people are entrapped?
Where is this place where no one comes to our aid?
Where is this place where only with our silence we are sending our voices to the world?
Where is this place where the young shed blood and then people go and pray?
Standing on that same blood and pray?

Where is this place where the citizens are called vagrants?
Where is this place? You want me to tell you?
This place is Iran
The homeland of you and me
This place is Iran

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lesson by Ellen Bryant Voigt


Whenever my mother, who taught
small children forty years,
asked a question, she
already knew the answer.
"Would you like to" meant
you would. "Shall we" was
another, and "Don't you think."
As in "Don't you think
it's time you cut your hair."

So when, in the bare room,
in the strict bed, she said,
"You want to see?" her hands
were busy at her neckline,
untying the robe, not looking
down at it, stitches
bristling where the breast
had been, but straight at me.

I did what I always did:
not weep --she never wept--
and made my face a kindly
whitewashed wall, so she
could write, again, whatever
she wanted there.

Ellen Bryant Voigt was born and raised in VIrginia. Her poetry is influenced by her background in music. She has written several books of poetry and served as the Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She currently lives in Vermont and teaches for the Warren Wilson low-residency MFA program.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Personals by C.D. Wright


Some nights I sleep with my dress on. My teeth
are small and even. I don't get headaches.
Since 1971 or before, I have hunted a bench
where I could eat my pimento cheese in peace.
If this were Tennessee and across that river, Arkansas,
I'd meet you in West Memphis tonight. We could
have a big time. Danger, shoulder soft.
Do not lie or lean on me. I'm still trying to find a job
for which a simple machine isn't better suited.
I've seen people die of money. Look at Admiral Benbow. I wish
like certain fishes, we came equipped with light organs.
Which reminds me of a little known fact:
if we were going the speed of light, this dome
would be shrinking while we were gaining weight.
Isn't the road crooked and steep.
In this humidity, I make repairs by night. I'm not one
among millions who saw Monroe's face
in the moon. I go blank looking at that face.
If I could afford it I'd live in hotels. I won awards
in spelling and the Australian crawl. Long long ago.
Grandmother married a man named Ivan. The men called him
Eve. Stranger, to tell the truth, in dog years I am up there.

C. D. Wright was born in 1949 in Mountain Home, Arkansas. She is the author of numerous books of poetry and currently teaches at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.