Monday 1 April 2013

3 Poems by Jessica Slote


1.The Hawk

A hawk is tearing apart a bird (I see
a wing and bits of feather fluff ripped) from the ridge of the house extension, across the garden.

I must have just missed the kill.

I came out to sweep the porch and set up a chair as I haven’t
      done in a long time.

(It just flew down to the garden floor with prey hanging from talons—
‘cheep-cheep’—was that predator or still-alive prey?)

It’s a hawk. Saw it in garden several times last winter, but
      not since then.

What else?

Rustling of bamboo bushes—enormous thicket
      in elusive currents of winter air

Prayer bell occasionally moved to sound—its message
      simple, clear:

Now—hear?  Now—here.

2.What is it?

Little birds perch at the tops of tall trees, darting for minor
changes. Pigeons perch securely on rooftop edges—clucking and observing. The garden is at peace—minus the hawk.

 Little thoughts perch at the top of tall ideas, darting for minor
changes. Assumptions perch securely on concept edges, clucking and observing. The mind is at peace—minus the hawk.

3.The Hawk (again)

Hawk in my Heart
Bits of Flesh, Feathers Fly—Ripped
Tear at my Entrails
Guts in Revolution

Brain, Memory, Language—three Sisters
   on a Throbbing Respirator
Pumping out the Same, Old Tune

I’ve been Lonely for a Lifetime
for as Long as I Remember

Clung to your Sleeping Body like
“Man Overboard!”


Jessica Slote is a playwright, poet, performer, and teacher. She comes out of theexperimental theater scene of NYC's Lower East Side in the 1980s. She is currently working on "The Next Step: Le Luminarie," the construction of a theater — an imaginary landscape—mirrored by a double construction in the heavens, le luminarie of the gods.

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