Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Poems for Guyana’s First Lady (& Her Man)

[Where to turn, in your heart of sudden darkness, when you’re locked out the bedroom, and mosquitoes in waiting swarm over that kneeded body shivering in Sati’s nighty? To sniffing cross-eyed bloggers in heat for scandal? Or columns in newspapers sworn to protect the entitlement of the nation’s First husband?

The shame of that. His wretched country. The shame.

Suniye! There’s another way out: just two clicks through the forest; past the bastard’s cave, the victims backtracking. We choose our mates, not our unruled desires. So be a tigress, lady. Turn again to poets who understand one night you’d scratch or knock on Hillary’s door; ask to come in] – W.W.

For Jane Siberry

But tenderness is hard
to inhabit. Skins and masks
to be shed. Every act is
a pretence of yesterday’s.
The pain of love, what more, what?
These stirrings of raincloud.
(from “Fabula Rasa” by Brian Chan)

To A Wife

Your obsession with your duty makes
you customs officer
to my love: I have nothing

to declare of it to you even
though the most secret pouch
of my heart is full of this

golden drug that you once discovered
and seized for no reason
but that it made you feel full

of power. But love overbears itself,
can’t stand the weight of its
own fruits of repetition

and sleep. Yet I hope mine can still move
you before you become
one more warden of the jail

where love locks itself, itself to think
free, a captive serving
life, an artist of escape.
(from “Fabula Rasa” by Brian Chan)


fall off their clouds
of care to become fools
who walk tightropes and fall
off cliffs only to learn
how to turn into safe
burghers who step sideways,
around and back or not
at all, till they fall off
their rugs of calm to turn
shocked back into angels.
(from “The Gift of Screws” by Brian Chan)