Sunday, March 21, 2010
My guest will be poet Melissa Guillet. She writes,
"I have performed my work at libraries, coffee houses, and bars across the U.S. and Canada. I feel poetry should work on the page and aloud, and would describe it as narrative and often lyric. I have appeared on "Places", Youtube, CCTV, and other local access cable shows. My work has appeared or is forthcoming in Appleseeds, Ballard Street, Bloodroot Literary Magazine, Caduceus, The Cherry Blossom Review, GBSPA’s City Lights, Cyclamen & Sword, Dos Passos Review, Fearless Books, Imitation Fruit (winning poem), Lalitamba, Language and Culture, Lavanderia, Look! Up in the Sky!, New Muse, Nth Position, Public Republic, Sangam, Scrivener’s Pen, Seven Circle Press, Women. Period., six Poets’ Asylum anthologies, and several chapbooks. I am the chief editor and founder of Sacred Fools Press, which has produced three anthologies. I teach Interdisciplinary Arts in Rhode Island.
There was no need
to whisper in my ear when
the lark would do,
or the alarm, your way
of sighing as you turned,
the loudness of my dreams.
Rising, Phoebus wags his finger,
scolding our denial,
yet hopeful as a dog
sooner aware of day.
The dishes done,
the kids away,
our only charge was
to keep the sheets warm.
Nothing was to be done today.
We could just miss it entirely,
“X” it out on the calendar.
I reach for you blindly,
curled up and squinting.
The day has not begun yet.
We have all day to rise.
Was that the metaphor looked for?
Almost a heart, divided
into two selves, medicinal snakes
spiraling in on themselves
Then the triple-base, the three sides
to the story. The two facing snakes
that speak to each other
across the past.
High school was over,
and who would want to go back?
But in our busy, self-recoiling lives
the third wheel turns us back
and an internet spot pages old friends.
Cut off, your arm grew into its own
starfish, and you find, out
of that tiny sea, your friend
has become a starfish too.
You needed a Beowulf to slice off your arms,
to be faceless and bodiless and reach
past what everyone else had known,
only to grow everything back and reclaim
an identity to call your own.
In excavation, old photos define us,
yet we deny how we were.
We were never perfect.
We return to the source to fetch
the threads of our cocoons,
the molted shells of goofy haircuts
and all-important cliques.
High school was as far away as Africa,
as close as keys under your fingers.
Doors were closed on that life’s chapter,
but windows were open.
Friend, each of us is five parts of ourselves:
Future, Past, Present, Private, Public,
seeking same. Classified
by who we were, who we are, who we want to be.
Turn and take the egg off your back.
Neither one came first
when one needs the other to exist,
to exist one needs the other.