Poetry & Prose
red rays of the unknown sun came down to my new window
warmly shiver touched me, made me laugh as a fresh baby
I decided to think about the source of these unknown rays
but, suddenly a kind of musical sound covered my ears
the sound did not seem like any earthen sound I ever heard
it was a mix of waves dancers and creation of colorful bird
it was like a smell of honey and the secrets of gold
I want to carry in my womb
The bodies of the dead women
Killed by the dictatorship
Full of old pictures with their serrated sides
Full of vaporous language
Full of gardens in child’s mind
My womb will grow like a giant piñata
So full of communists
And you'll fear them all
Allen Ginsberg, I have worn you on my back
in cafe's, on the flatlands, in a threesome
with a half-stranger, whose pregnant pause stretched out
across the microcosmic corn flake of America's crooked twaddle,
your fellatious weight wigged on the temporary
Let’s face it
Nothing is cruelty free
Especially when that bitch on Facebook
Piped up and replied
“This reply to your reply is cruelty free!”
I see you Sistar
I can hear your mockingbird tales take off
As quick as my daughter’s father could get
I'm your worst nightmare.
I'm leading the life you were dreaming of before you settled.
I'm living the dream you buried when realizing it could come true.
The dream you fear so much.
The one you never could stand in reality.
The one you’re still fascinated by in your hidden chamber.
It was not a secret that Professor Bai Hua favored our gang of four students over others in the class. On the night of the Lantern Festival, as arranged, Bai Hua waited for us near the bike racks. A dark gloom had overtaken the chilly winter air. “Shall we go to Fuzimiao? I want to show you a flavor of the local Nanjing culture,” he said.
In the southwestern part of the city, Bai Hua bought us each a paper lantern strung on a stick. I lit my lantern, and it glowed a brilliant red. Anya and Bai Hua each had pink ones. When she smiled gleefully, Bai Hua looked at her. My heart twinged, as if I’d developed a small crush.
When I was about 12 years old, there was this other black girl selling freshly squeezed lemonade in my neighborhood. She was selling each cup for $1. My dad gave me some money and told me to buy 2 cups of lemonade from her. So I did (even though I wasn’t thirsty, wasn’t particularly fond of any drink aside from water, and it was also rare to see my dad drink lemonade). But I did it. I went up to her stand and bought 2 cups.
Yesterday, I woke up in good spirits. I had an interview Downtown that I was feeling pretty good about. It was a corporate interview so I did my best to dress corporate. Black slacks. Button up. Navy blue tie and a gold tie clip. Nothing fancy.
I stare at painted ceilings, I stare at parting clouds
Confined to thoughts of interchanging forms
Your skin and cheeks when you walked through my elementary school doors
Determined to not let sickness stop you
Sometimes, I stop. I know I shouldn’t, I should keep moving, head down, eyes down, back down, hunched, picking and pulling. But sometimes I need to stop. I see you in my mind. Tiny and warm. I remember kissing you on your forehead and holding you tight to my bare breast. I couldn’t give you anything else. There was none I could give except my body.
When the winds blowing from the north are warm, no longer cold.
When stories that were passed around campfires are seldom ever told.
When freedom isn't for all, on trading blocks our rights are bought and sold.
When youth have no reason to believe, so quickly they grow old.
Eve Packer continues her photojournalistic exploration of New York (and her own emotional interior landscape) in these spare, eloquent poems. Many of the poems have dates, and some are even time-stamped, giving the impression of journal entries. In this way Packer marks events in the news, the seasons, the deaths of friends, and the closing of mom-and-pop businesses with a nod to the passing of time—a reassuring constant when so much else seems to be in flux.
On June 19, 1986, I was home from college and taking a history class in the summer session at the local junior college in my hometown. It was around 7:30 p.m. and the instructor was lecturing about the importance of the civil war. Yada yada yada… I simply didn’t feel like being there. So after a few minutes had passed, I got up from my seat and quietly walked out of the room. I went to my mother’s house, which is where I stayed in the summer awaiting the fall semester to begin. I arrived at home to find a note on the kitchen table from my mother.
Poetry, to me, is emotion or experience manifested in its most candid form. It is artistic expression so honest that only one sequence of words, thoughtfully and meticulously arranged, can express it. And though the content of its expression might be weakness, or embarrassment or fear or imperfection, the expression is perfect in itself. In this way, in this honest, perfect imperfection, my mother exemplifies poetry.