It Existed


mark strandThis post was written from Roldanillo, Colombia, a tiny town toward the west of the country.  I was there all week attending the Colombian Women Poets Festival for the first time ever.

So I had time for a quick post featuring U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand, taken a few months ago in a páramo, a cloud forest located at more than 3,000 meters above sea level. Few nations in the world possess these natural wonders, which are rich sources of water, so Colombia is lucky to be among the countries on the planet with the most páramos.

 

Once Upon a Cold November Morning

 

I left the sunlit fields of my daily life and went down in the

hollow mountain, and I discovered, in all its chilly glory,

the glass castle of my other life. I could see right through it,

and beyond, but what could I do with it? It was perfect, irre-

ducible, and worthless except for the fact that it existed.

“The Napkin Trick” in Dagda Publishing

 

It’s been done before:

The inten­tion of con­ver­sa­tion
starts and ends with a slow walk
around a famil­iar, short block –
the light purse or empty pocket.

(Tonight
after all
should only call for some cash.)

A set of doors is cho­sen
but not broached,

and reluc­tance comes as a reminder

of iso­lated drinks
where music from cars
(cir­cling the block in search of a park­ing spot)
is for­got­ten
on the front and back
of a red paper napkin.

 

 

This poem was originally published in Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, but I am reposting it as Uk-based Dagda Publishing published it yesterday. Thanks, Dagda!

A Week with Colombia’s Women Poets

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I am in the small Colombian town of Roldanillo for the 30th Annual Meeting of Colombian Women Poets, held at The Rayo Museum (above).

I will be here all week, the longest I spend alone in such a small town.

Below is my official badge, which features an emblematic work by Omar Rayo, one of Colombia’s most important artists and the founder of the museum.

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Apart from hosting over 100 poets, The Rayo Museum is also presenting two exhibits by two of Colombia’s foremost women artists: Deborah Arango and Beatriz Gonzalez. Below is a work by Gonzalez I loved.

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And, finally, below are two photos from the streets that corner my small, tidy hotel.

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Poetry Makes Nothing Happen

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In honor of today’s World Cup final, I am posting a photo I took of W.H. Auden’s poem “In Memory of W. B. Yeats” while in Rio last year.

I love the line that goes: “Poetry makes nothing happen.” It is, somehow, true. But then, somehow, it’s not.

Read Rio de Janeiro, Sept 2013

A Poem for Women Who Don’t Want Children

Poet Chanel Brenner

I come across all sorts of poems in my continuous hunt for literary journals that might house the verses I wrestle to write. Recently, I came across a jewel. A simple, stunning jewel.

The poem was a finalist for Rattle Poetry’s 2013 Contest and was written by Los Angeles-based poet Chanel Brenner, pictured above. To read more poems by Ms. Brenner, click here.

Below is the poem that left me stunned.

 

A POEM FOR WOMEN WHO DON’T WANT CHILDREN

I won’t preach about the rewards of motherhood.
I won’t say it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.
I won’t say it’s the best job I’ve ever had.
I won’t say you’ll regret not having a child.
I won’t say you’ll forget what life was like before.
I won’t say it makes life worth living.
What I will say
is my son died.
What I will say
is I would still do it again.

Photo Credit: Blog of Madeleine Sharples

This post was originally published in Zeteo Journal’s Zeteo is Reading section.