Art & literatures emerging from everywhere in this planet

The Difficulty of Being Oneself and Other Poems

in Poetry by


Every morning a new word escapes me,
its meaning defined only
by the light between morning and now
that sinks down into soil,
boxed and stored in magma
and subterranean channels.

I don’t have the vocal mechanism
to pronounce this word that seems
meant for someone else, and who might not
be human after all, and who would
be condemned for uttering it, perhaps sent
to live in an abandoned steel mill.

I try to shape my tongue to accommodate it
by placing a sugar cube in my mouth,
though no amount can sweeten the losses.

In my backpack, I carry a thesaurus,
looking always for the alternative,
that other word that carries time’s texture,
the slow drift of departure, this light, sprinkled
over the sidewalks of each day, seasoning
meanings that will only unlock
when I’m wide awake and eat my words.

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At the gates of Remembrance and Other Poems by Christiane Conesa-Bostock

in Poetry by

At the gates of Remembrance

Here I stand at the gates of Remembrance
between those who remember everything
and amnesiacs who forget it all.

Some days, you’re allowed in and today I
see my grand-father. He kept verbena
lollies and biscuits in his suit pocket.
His moustache bestowed him a Dali look.
His grey eyes could detect little lies and
at times, dreaming of mantillas, guitars
and black castanets his feet and his hands
stuttered a Flamenco. Olé chicos!

But now inflexible ushers of Time
have barred this lovely path to Remembrance.

Tomorrow I’ll stand again at these gates
between those who remember everything
and amnesiacs who forget it all.

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Riding the Q Train at Six

in Poetry by

Riding the Q Train at Six

to visit Jacob, their noses pressed
up against the window of the lead car
to see every blue and red marker light,
the red-yellow-green signal stop lights,
exciting speed, sharp turns, screeching brakes
high-pitched whine of steel on steel ,
kids riveted, the City’s power
in your bones the whole half hour ride.

As the train comes out of the ground
in Brooklyn, after Prospect Park,
I ask, “What do you see?”
and Alex says,
It’s another world—
pretty houses and trees.

That’s when I knew,
already a New York ex-pat

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A Book of Rooms by Kobus Moolman

in Book Reviews by

a book of roomsThemes such as childhood, fear, age, race, culture, freedom, romance and innocence are cemented in the ideologies at play in A Book of Rooms, the seventh volume of poetry by prolific South African poet, Kobus Moolman. Broken into four sections titled “who”, “what”, “why” and “when”, the poems, each beginning with the catch phrase “the room of…” lure Moolman’s reader into what appears to be a long narrative poem experimenting with biography and history. Natal, a region in South Africa, is repeatedly referenced as the speaker’s hometown. In obvious terms, the better one is acquainted with South Africa’s troubled past with apartheid, the better one gets at appreciating the deftness and simplicity in language that Moolman applies to his verse. Each poem depends on vignettes and images that make the reader a participant and witness in the experiences captured.

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