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
Terry J. Cole
Her bone china porcelain hands waft
Across the the the black vinyl of the album
As she places it on the turntable
And Ray begins to grind “I Can’t Stop Loving You.”
And I wonder, as she begins to remove her blouse
Am I the
Signifier or the signified?
Colonizer or the colonized?
Lover or the beloved?
The Master Narrative in her brutal imagination?
And as she lays herself atop my blackness Ray begins to belch “America”
And I have been answered.
So, here’s the deal.
In the 1800s Napoleon decided to reclaim Haiti,
But was wary of whether or not it had an army.
On a surprise visit
He asked Toussaint L’Overture permission to review the Haitian army.
On the steps of the Presidential Palace they watched
As 100 men became 200
200 became over 1000
Though it was the same 100 men simply
Circling the Palace.
Even the Emperor could not perceive the differences between Black people.
We all look alike.
In Haiti now, we all look alike.
In Darfur now, we all look alike.
In New Orleans, we all look alike.
We are the human conscience.
We are the consciousness that defines Whiteness.
We are the cocktail cache.
We will be here tomorrow,
But we exist for today
For the moment
For the memory
And in retrospect
None will be able to tell us apart from themselves.
- for Lisa
I have seen
Broken hearts and angel’s wings
But I still have yet to see
What you mean me to see
I have sung
Solo numbers and sing-alongs
But I still have yet to sing
What you mean me to sing
I have made
Some on target, some out of time
But I still have yet to rhyme
What you mean me to rhyme
I have told
Some as stories, and some survive
Despite lies that you’ve realized
Yet you have forgiven me
But I still have yet to be
What you mean me to be
And I still have yet to see
What you still see in me