Andre Marsden, “Kevin” (catch a fire)
The June 2010 issue of tongues of the ocean went live at midnight today.
This one’s a little different. We’ve taken a cross-disciplinary exhibition and put it into cyberspace. Instead the customary two pieces of writing a week, we’ve got a literary piece and a piece of visual art. This is how the exhibition—”A Sudden and Violent Change”, created for The Hub in Nassau for the Transforming Spaces Art Tour—was set up: writers creating pieces that artists used as inspiration for other pieces.
This week, two womanish poems again. C. S. Bhagya, from India, and yours truly (aka Nicolette Bethel) are featured, sharing the voices of two oddly similar and yet infinitely different women. Bhagya’s “fishmonger’s wife” speaks to an invisible man (not her husband, clearly):
on summer mornings
I smell of conches, their smooth
white glide and sound of sea.
— C. S. Bhagya
“Island Girl”, meanwhile, explains how to get blood out of cotton:
… you need a lime, some salt, and sun.
Don’t wash it first, cause blood will set, and stain
and give the thing away. So cut the lime
and rub it on the blood, and cover that
with salt and lay it flat, and let the sun
shine on it.
— Nicolette Bethel
Intrigued? Want more? Go to tongues of the ocean.
In honour of Valentine’s Day and of love, two new poems: “Oboe” by Nic Sebastian and “Opaque” by Nancy Devine.
(Please note that if you click on the above link after February 21, it’ll take you to two more poems — the content of that link doesn’t remain static.)
He wants to kiss
“the tip of the tongue
taking a trip of three steps…”,
use it as his cup
for coddled cream.
you are the beauty of bound
reed or better
numen’s breath passing
through reed into African
blackwood or better
Or went live on Sunday past. Featuring entry art by Steve Cartwright, and beginning the issue with two very cool and contrasting poems: “In the Bay” by Changming Yuan (China, USA), and “12 Notes for a Light Song of Light” by Kei Miller (Jamaica, UK).
Here’s the thing. A year ago I was still beginning the vacation that marked the end of my indentureship for the Government of The Bahamas. It was all new for me. I’d forgotten what it was like to control one’s own daytimes — to not have to engage in the absurdity of rush hour traffic if one could choose, to be able to sit in a coffee shop (we shall not say the name b/c I’m mad at them) and write for as long as one liked, to be able to finish a thought without having to answer a telephone with someone panicking at the other end because they had no clue what working for government meant, and they’d encountered The Wall and wanted to know what to do about it.
Life was better, but I was afraid I was going to be bored.
What goes on inside poetry editors’ heads? is a burning question for publishing and wannabe-publishing poets everywhere. With this third Ten Questions series, we are showcasing weekly answers from a diverse group of poetry editors to Ten Questions for Poetry Editors. Each editor’s responses will appear as a separate blog post and all posts will be linked back to the series’ standing page.
I’m so glad someone’s noticed the power of Muhammad Muwakil’s work. The more I read that poem the more it grows on me — specially the bit Nic quotes.
And this week’s posts are up — a second poem by Ian Gregory Strachan, and an interview with Derek Walcott. No, I didn’t carry it out. It’s actually a link to an interview carried out in 2006 by Canadian litblogger Nigel Beale. Thanks, Nigel, for allowing us access to the interview!
And as for Strachan’s “National Anthem”, here’s a taste of it:
one hundred years ago
from this spot
a painter with a poet’s name
caught a coconut frond
in the wind and
brushed the white lighthouse
Two more poems are up for the week:
The West Indies Haiku (#1) by Tim Tomlinson
on an empty bed
The joy of planting banana suckers in your own land by Ward Minnis
I only want me own garden
a little patch where I can dig till I silly.
Plant banana morning, noon and night,
Open the hole and put in me fertilize,
fill it with sap
from nighttime ritual and early morning dance.
Seems that all I do is advertise the journal! Swing on over to check it out. And when I get some ideas beyond it I’ll jot them down.
This week’s offerings:
The doctor knows the heart and all
its chambered petals. He is versed in
vestigial organs, but not the art of hidden
cedar floats liquid down my throat
in extract of red, pooled in cliffside fissures
opened by roots
whose hunger cracks stone
“For the Trees” by Vladimir Lucien, from St Lucia:
The trees have always been our brothers.
The silk cotton tree that was forced to lynch us,
In those gardens that our mothers stooped to nurse
That grew with us, were our brothers.
But before they fell to the earth,
I grieved when they cried in autumn
and “I Am”, spoken word poetry by Amielle Major, from The Bahamas:
I am not the first to have had my heart broken by a white man I
probably shouldn’t have loved
I am not the first to have had my heart broken by a black
man I probably shouldn’t have loved
I am not the first to have not been loved because I was too black
I am not the first to have had sex in this darkness my blackness I hate it.
I am not the first ugly person.
two more poems go live on tongues of the ocean:
Fire blooms burn into the
blue sky peace water
clear as tears touched
green, the famed beaches white
The strings of the mango dangled, plump
and sweet between my teeth, thick with juice
I recommend ’em both.