Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Shifting Winds of Poetry

Hola mi Gente,
First, I want to say that because the generosity of so many of you, I might be able to rent a room and pay for my storage and phone. You don’t know how much this means to me. In light of my decision to ask for help, my friend (and lover in a past life), Nina, said the following:

There is no shame in loving and if people never need us, when do we get the opportunity to love and care for them? It is an honor to be needed and trusted with a person's heart, their pain. It is an honor to be allowed to give and not just take.

That about says it all. I don’t want to jinx it, but I might have some good news this Monday. Keep your fingers crossed. If you can give, here’s the link:

Most people here know my love for art and poetry in particular. A few years ago, I purchased a sweet surprise of a book, an anthology titled The wind shifts: New Latino poetry. It’s chock full of new vibrant voices. I’ve included two here today. Art saved my life – literally. Enjoy and have a great day.

* * *

Wind coming over from Waimea reaches the coast below Kawaihae, HI

Shifting Winds of Poetry

Within Me
-- Naomi Ayala

War begins right here on my street.
t begins with me.
I see her weapons in the eyes of a child,
her face on windowpanes.
There are times I want war.
I lie down with her.
I stroke her back.
There are times she enters my house
and I enter into battle with her.
War slips in, into my name.
I have her in my blood.
She sweetens my morning coffee on Saturdays.
I betray her. I hide from her. I run away
but already war knows the course of my dreams
and wants to steal the children of my soul.
War begins with me.
It is with me that war begins
right here on my street
in the small showers of bullets
in an empty garbage can
in what I say and do not say
in the bewitching ivy of tedium
in the soap I use to bathe.
She is in my fingers
in the shadow of my eyes
in my lover’s hair.
I sing to her so that she may leave
so that war leaves me.
Today I sing to her and she lets me sing.

* * *

-- Lidia Torres New York City, August 13, 2003

All this is not unusual in DR or Iraq. 
The city’s extension cord shorts. 
Afternoon, offices evacuate. 
The focus is on feet, 
some people walking through the boroughs 
for the first time. We stare at our feet, 
elbow to elbow eyeing packed buses. 
Some hitch rides on the back 
of trucks. An orderly mob of feet, 
legs pushing past fearless 
grocery stores. Lincoln 
center, Harlem, 
finally in Washington Heights the 
street party has begun. Batteries boost 
the curbside music, click of candlelit 
dominoes, night meeting a stream 
of car lights, congestion 
of bodies. Everyone is polite and briefly 
romantic in the dark. On my block, 
there’s a woman selling hot pastels 
on paper plates, with ketchup 
if you want.

* * *

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization… 


Aragón, F. (Ed.). (2007). The wind shifts: New Latino poetry. Tuscon: University of Arizona Press.

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