Poet as resistance

  
How does a poem resist?
          When you say thrush
          It removes the palpable green from your
          Hooved beginnings 

Why does a poem resist?
          If the chances taken
          Are multiplied by its hoofsteps, you get
          Nothing as quotient

Who does a poem resist?
          Ice, palindromes, hoovicles
          And clarified ribosomes, mainly because
          Structure is a myth

Poet as Indigenous

Poet as indigenous
      as tenacity is indigenous
      does it grow with the river or will the seed of word become song?

The dwelling is indigenous
      there are as many indigenouses
      as there are houses nestling the words that hint of becoming song

The poem is indigenous
      to the steel that is fraught with love
      that burned as seed that was housed in spring to become song –

Poet as insight

– it is transformed as it is birthed: as it becomes it is no more
– master’s tool no more, but the inch that peels off the foot
– it reverses the voyeuring oppressor’s gaze; it has survived by looking back, unrepentant, unfazed
– build your ivory tower upon it, and it spits it out, whole
– it is the silence that gnaws, knows

Poet as gift

I give this poem to the lost word – to its bearing and ball – & I give it to last a forever that is more river than eye – I keep this poem as found word – as wet as river – to sing the word into a poem – sink it as a stone would – would it not? to bring the word into a poem – brink of being word or wordstone – to stagger onward with the word as if it was the last one & the first – a poem is lost in the trees – it does not know how to wait to listen to believe in ether – give me one branch of one tree & I will give you a rainforest – give me one wordbranch of one song – speak into the hollow wind – howl it stories of lost trees & lost poems – the wind will whisper it to the other –

Poet as genesis

It took an hour
to make song   another hour
for stone        the river
& stone are conjugate verbs
acting together
       to make the verdict of song
       ring true

“I have always had the sense of Armageddon and it was much stronger in those days, the sense of living on the edge of chaos. Not just personally, but on the world level. That we were dying, that we were killing our world — that sense had always been with me. That whatever I was doing, whatever we were doing that was creative and right, functioned to hold us from going over the edge. That this was the most we could do while we constructed some saner future.” – Audre Lorde recalling when she had heard of Martin Luther King’s killing.

Poet as difference

Poet as difference
the smellsweet
    wrungtooth, it keeps us in guess
    in

deference to differ
the snuckroot
    earthsweat, as blade wishes blood
    in

rain – the differed
the nailred
    skyrust, as air as parch as wet as pain

that deep inner place where we have been taught to fear all difference—to kill it or ignore it

Audre Lorde

Poet as heart

To have heart is to be fearful of the familiar
to befriend

the outlier      each lie lies closer than the
shrinkiest

of distances that fond the heart      the poet
as heart –


I can brave the torrent of masked poems but
where will

the sun breathe? I can read about the how &
the big how but

who will the stone ask? I can be the pliant
bull but I won’t


the hedgehogs are in want, day
spreads its

eagle wings with disdain      it has
no need –

the full stroke of sun strikes you
as it hovers

so close to your eyes your knees
buckle –

Poet as prose

The poet as prose
   can be  but only so far -
           prose should aim to be clear, direct: mince

words and that's rhetoric, hand-waving -
   logic   requires straight lines, a
           few curves maybe, but strictly geometric (solvable

preferably in finite time, boundaries &
   all)    the poem hints, the lines are
           blurred, the curves speak to the birds, mix 

with blood & birth & then return to where 
   word    greets word, and the light that
           seeps in with each flight of dark is unconfined by 

space & time, yet bound by the liminality of 
   joy     straggling behind     this burn
           of light is just   its uncertain incomprehensiveness

   sure

Earlier today I was trying to explain to my daughter, Amina, how I saw prose vis-a-vis poetry and how they intermingle. Amu understandably found my vagueness vague, so I wrote this poem.