Saturday, April 09, 2011

April 6, Poem 6 - Roger age 9 pens a note for his adult self - Winnipeg 1977

Roger, 9 pens a note for his adult self – Winnipeg, 1977

after Jimmy Santiago Baca

They have taken your friends

so you will make new ones.

They have taken to calling you

outside of your name, so you will

become a stone.

They have insulted your ability

with books and words, so you will

cultivate aggression.

They have isolated you amidst

a snarling sea of other,

so you will learn how to be alone.

They have attacked your body

so you have become a massive

windchime of fists.

Who is to tell you this is not love;

your mother’s face, beautiful in its anguish

as she drives this strange city

to find you. And you are not lost

just gone and alone for hours,

the way you have learned

that what is foreign and savage

is also gorgeous; the way

in these short months, you garnish

from the harsh white winter,

entire manuals for living out

your destiny as a phenomenon

amidst unspeakable hostility.

You have learned to be faster

than the other boys. You have

learned to lower your shoulder

and become a bull on the field.

You have learned, a slow-lidded

callousness in which to crawl before

you bring blood to another body’s

surface. You have learned the value

of your open exposed ribcage, its

alone alone alone. You will turn

this into currency. Everything

in you is already right and humming.

You will need to remember this

in the darkest of hours, even

with a blade gathering light

in your hands –

you are beautiful

you are beautiful

you are beautiful

To schedule a reading or an appearance please contact Ofer Ziv at Blue Flower Arts at 845-677-8559 or email


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