Spring is sprung

In California it’s full spring. The colors have changed from white and pink to yellows and purple. The hens are laying, the garden growing full tilt. This poem by Jamaal May is a good spring into the season:

I Have This Way of Being

I have this, and this isn’t a mouth
full of the names of odd flowers

I’ve grown in secret.
I know none of these by name

but have this garden now,
and pastel somethings bloom

near the others and others.
I have this trowel, these overalls

this ridiculous hat now.
This isn’t a lung full of air.

Not a fist full of weeds that rise
yellow then white then windswept.

This is little more than a way
to kneel and fill gloves with sweat,

so that the trowel in my hand
will have something to push against,

rather, something to push
against that it knows will bend

and give and return as sprout
and petal and sepal and bloom.

Jamaal May

 

Jamaal May

MayI have been reading, Hum, Jamaal May’s intriguing book of poems, and finding what he does with language very inspiring. He’s a great performer, too, you can hear him recite on Youtube. I think this poem works best if you don’t try to make too much sense of it as it goes along; just take the images in as they come.

How to Disappear Completely

You are quarter ghost on your mother’s side.
Your heart is a flayed peach in a bone box.
Your hair comes away in clumps like cheap fabric wet.
A reflecting pool gathers around your altar
of plywood subflooring and split wooden slats.
You are a rag doll, prone, contort,
angle and arc. Rot. Here you are Continue reading “Jamaal May”