Marsh Hawk Review is an online poetry journal sponsored by the Marsh Hawk Press collective. Marsh Hawk Review will appear twice a year, under the revolving editorship of collective members. Each issue will offer a selection of poems solicited by the editor, in addition to new work posted by poets in the collective.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mary Mackey

The Jaguars That Prowl Our Dreams

Up on the Orinoco, Rio Negro, Solimões,

Tocantins, Xingu, Javary

they’re drinking the bebida preta/black drink

snake vine ayahuasca/yage/ blood of the great anaconda

with the smoke of burning rainforests in their nostrils

and o gosto de cinzas/taste of ashes on their tongues

Eles estão comendo they’re eating

purple snails powdered viper venom

lagartas esmagadas flowers that dye their lips

the color of blood singing of cities of blue glass

and the jaguars that prowl our dreams

O que mais/what else are they seeing?

o que mais do they know?

they’re not saying

they’re not telling

they’re calling on the ghost tribes instead

ghosts of the Tupinambá, Tupinaquim, Amoré

lost upriver forever

lost in the burning world


Sugar Zone
Sempre me amedrontou  I have always
been afraid   tankers strung out along the horizon
like a necklace of black
seeds  a idéia de ter um filho  of the idea
of having a child  let’s get drunk
on cachaca forget her outstretched
hands her face  the delicate angle of her nose
her children selling candy roses  cor de pedras
color of stones amethyst, emerald, diamond
all day the tankers come and go  the mill grinds
barefoot men and women cut
and cut   
for a whole week I missed Solange
Durante uma semana mes equeci
then clarity for three days
limpeza  limpeza
they sleep on the
black and white tiles that wind beneath our feet
steal the food off our plates
We eat behind fences  
the ticks drop off the
trees and settle between our cold beer
and cashews  plastic straws blow down the beach
like transparent wands  a ciudade só voltarava a existir
depois de 20 de janeiro  (this city has only existed
since the 20th of January)  for twenty minutes we
stood in the deserted street
    figuei olhando looking
for something 
           no longer 


A Visitor’s Guide To The Favelas Of Rio

Rocinha, Mangeira, Morro de Macacos

up on the hills they are casting the shells

O côro das vozes femininas cantando

looking into the future rattling the buzios

pasting dyed chicken feathers on Carnival floats

beheading dogs smoking crack burning

the buses não esperam a noite

in Cantagalo, Serrinha, Salguiero

they are calling on Xangô the warrior Eshu

who opens and closes roads Oshun who eats

acarajé cooked with palm oil thick as sewage

orange as longing

here on the beach the waves rush toward us

bruising our legs and sucking us in

tem cuidado beware of the undertow

Babalônia, Cajuiero, Tavares Bastos

Morro Azul, Jacarezinho, Cidade de Deus

gunfire rattles off the cinderblock houses

there are dead roses in the water

gold-wrapped candy papayas gum

who made these offerings?

what gods do they pray to?

when will we meet them?

what will they want?

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