Words are Birds by Francisco X. Alarcon

Words are Birds BY FRANCISCO X. ALARCÓN wordsare birdsthat arrivewith booksand spring theylovecloudsthe windand trees some wordsare messengersthat comefrom far awayfrom distant lands for themthere areno bordersonly starsmoon and sun some wordsare familiarlike canariesothers are exoticlike the quetzal bird some can standthe coldothers migratewith the sunto the south some wordsdiecaged—they’re difficultto translate and othersbuild nestshave chickswarmContinue reading “Words are Birds by Francisco X. Alarcon”

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A Litany for Survival

BY AUDRE LORDE For those of us who live at the shorelinestanding upon the constant edges of decisioncrucial and alonefor those of us who cannot indulgethe passing dreams of choicewho love in doorways coming and goingin the hours between dawnslooking inward and outwardat once before and afterseeking a now that can breedfutureslike bread in our children’sContinue reading “A Litany for Survival”

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Praise Song For The Day

Praise Song for the Day BY ELIZABETH ALEXANDER A Poem for Barack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each other’s eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of ourContinue reading “Praise Song For The Day”

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Small Craft Talk Warning

All poetry is about hope.A scarecrow walks into a bar.An abandoned space station falls to earth.When probing the monster’s brain,you’re probably probing your own.A beautiful woman becomes a ghost.I hope I never miscalculate the dosagethat led to the infarctionof my lab rabbit again.All poetry is a form of hope.Not certain, just actuallike love and otherContinue reading “Small Craft Talk Warning”

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Heal the Cracks in the Bell of the World

Heal the Cracks in the Bell of the World For the community of Newtown, Connecticut, where twenty students and six educators lost their lives to a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School, December 14, 2012 Now the bells speak with their tongues of bronze. Now the bells open their mouths of bronze to say: ListenContinue reading “Heal the Cracks in the Bell of the World”

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This Page Ripped Out and Rolled into a Ball

  A rose by any other name   could be Miguel   or Tiffany Could be David or Vashti   Why not Aya   which means beautiful flower  but also verse and miracle   and a bird         that flies away quickly    You see where this is going          That is    you couldContinue reading “This Page Ripped Out and Rolled into a Ball”

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Opticks

This is her descending glance captured in a hidden photograph taken when I was an infant and Mother held me at arm’s length. I look back for her, unsurprised still questioning why she doesn’t return my gaze. Her eyes fix on a spot between her face and my face. For the infant there is no distinction.Continue reading “Opticks”

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Detail Of The Hayfield

I followed myself for a long while, deep into the field. Two heads full of garbage. Our scope was larger than I realized, which only made me that much more responsible. Yellow, yellow, gold, and ocher. We stopped. We held the field. We stood very still. Everyone needs a place. You need it for theContinue reading “Detail Of The Hayfield”

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The Way The Light Reflects

THE PAINT doesn’t move the way the light reflects, so what’s there to be faithful to? I am faithful to you, darling. I say it to the paint. The bird floats in the unfinished sky with nothing to hold it. The man stands, the day shines. His insides and his outsides kept apart with anContinue reading “The Way The Light Reflects”

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Gratitude

It softens want into nothing mean and lack is not so dark anymore. Things can be a little dim, less than ideal and still amaze, as when there’s been enough grief and you aren’t any longer bowing to it. One day, the pain having stopped, isn’t a moment. It isn’t brief. It keeps going. ~LiaContinue reading “Gratitude”

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Uncertainty

It’s not a place, but I am grateful to be in it, where endings and known things complicate, and I, the judge I know myself to be, go to review the very heavy declarations I so often lay down like law. It’s not a place at all. I just practice there, assemble some beliefs, disturbContinue reading “Uncertainty”

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An Accounting

In this room, hours pass, a slight corruption of each previous allotted time block—and probably confirm failure and humiliation, which though not ideal, I accept as historically accurate. I’m sick of lifestyle music, the thing between awe and detachment which Hazlitt defines as adrift. I clear my throat remind myself, doors are locked, the ashtray half-full.Continue reading “An Accounting”

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“I am fundamentally an optimist.”

“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up toContinue reading ““I am fundamentally an optimist.””

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“It is dangerous to leave….”

“It is dangerous to leave written that which is badly written. A chance word, upon paper, may destroy the world. Watch carefully and erase, while the power is still yours, I say to myself, for all that is put down, once it escapes, may rot its way into a thousand minds, the corn become aContinue reading ““It is dangerous to leave….””

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