without someone

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The World Is Not a Pleasant Place to Be
Nikki Giovanni
The world is not a pleasant place
to be without
someone to hold and be held by.

A river would stop
its flow if only
a stream were there
to receive it.

An ocean would never laugh
if clouds weren’t there
to kiss her tears.

The world is
not a pleasant place to be without
someone.

Photo by Jack Anstey on Unsplash

“big as the myth of origin”

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Prayer to the Pacific
Leslie Marmon Silko
I traveled to the ocean

distant

from my southwest land of sandrock
to the moving blue water

Big as the myth of origin.

Pale
pale water in the yellow-white light of

sun floating west

to China

where ocean herself was born.

Clouds that blow across the sand are wet.

Squat in the wet sand and speak to the Ocean:

I return to you turquoise the red coral you sent us,

sister spirit of Earth.

Four round stones in my pocket I carry back the ocean

to suck and to taste.

Thirty thousand years ago

Indians came riding across the ocean
carried by giant sea turtles.

Waves were high that day

great sea turtles waded slowly out

from the gray sundown sea.

Grandfather Turtle rolled in the sand four times

and disappeared

swimming into the sun.

And so from that time

immemorial,

as the old people say,

rain clouds drift from the west

gift from the ocean.

Green leaves in the wind
Wet earth on my feet

swallowing raindrops

clear from China.

Photo by elora manzo on Unsplash

you covered with feathers

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Like the twist of a knife, the shaft penetrates – first a naked man wandering freely through city streets, covered in feathers and erect. Then suddenly, the twist – a different man, a broken disaster of a man, “quarrelsome and desperate”. These who populate.

About the Knife
Novica Tadić

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grave grass

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Street Corner College
Kenneth Patchen
Next year the grave grass will cover us.
We stand now, and laugh;
Watching the girls go by;
Betting on slow horses; drinking cheap gin.
We have nothing to do; nowhere to go; nobody.

Last year was a year ago; nothing more.
We weren’t younger then; nor older now.

We manage to have the look that young men have;
We feel nothing behind our faces, one way or other.

We shall probably not be quite dead when we die.
We were never anything all the way; not even soldiers.

We are the insulted, brother, the desolate boys.
Sleepwalkers in a dark and terrible land,
Where solitude is a dirty knife at our throats.
Cold stars watch us chum
Cold stars and the whores.

from the earth’s inside

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Coal
Audre Lorde
I
Is the total black, being spoken
From the earth’s inside.
There are many kinds of open.
How a diamond comes into a knot of flame
How a sound comes into a word, coloured
By who pays what for speaking.

Some words are open
Like a diamond on glass windows
Singing out within the crash of passing sun
Then there are words like stapled wagers
In a perforated book—buy and sign and tear apart—
And come whatever wills all chances
The stub remains
An ill-pulled tooth with a ragged edge.
Some words live in my throat
Breeding like adders. Others know sun
Seeking like gypsies over my tongue
To explode through my lips
Like young sparrows bursting from shell.
Some words
Bedevil me.

Love is a word another kind of open—
As a diamond comes into a knot of flame
I am black because I come from the earth’s inside
Take my word for jewel in your open light.

Photo by Lurm on Unsplash

unshaded avenue

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Untitled
Claude de Burine
An unshaded avenue
will from now on be my life
where once I spoke love
the way a sheet is spread in the sun
with my absent voyagers
more living than the living
milestones along the way
towards an unknown world
minus passport or time
where words hoist black flags

Original

Une allée san ombre
sera maintenant ma vie
où je disais amour
comme un étend un drap au soleil
avec mes absents voyageurs
plus vivants que les vivants
bornes sur le chemin
vers un monde inconnu
sans passeport ni temps
où les mots hissent le drapeau noir.