Posts tagged ‘2000’

Monday, 22 June 2020

The Displaced of Capital by Anne Winters

“A shift in the structure of experience…”
As I pass down Broadway this misty late-winter morning, the city is ever alluring, but thousands of miles to the south
the subsistence farms of chickens, yams and guava
are bought by transnationals, burst into miles
of export tobacco and coffee; and now it seems the farmer
has left behind his plowed-under village for an illegal
partitioned attic in the outer boroughs. Perhaps
he’s the hand that emerged with your change
from behind the glossies at the corner kiosk;
the displaced of capital have come to the capital.

The displaced of capital have come to the capital,
but sunlight steams the lingerie-shop windows, ?the coffee bar
has its door wedged open, and all I ask of the world this morning is to pass down my avenue, find
a fresh-printed Times and an outside table;
and because I’m here in New York the paper tells me of here:
of the Nicaraguans, the shortage of journeyman-jobs, ?the ethnic
streetcorner job-markets where men wait all day but more ?likely the women
find work, in the new hotels or in the needle trades,
a shift in the structure of experience.

A shift in the structure of experience
told the farmer on his Andean plateau
“Your way of life is obsolescent.”–But hasn’t it always ?been so?
I inquire as my column spills from page one
to MONEY&BUSINESS. But no, it says here the displaced
stream now to tarpaper favelas, planetary barracks
with steep rents for paperless migrants, so that they
remit less to those obsolescent, starving
relatives on the altiplano, pushed up to ever thinner air and soil;
unnoticed, the narrative has altered.

Unnoticed, the narrative has altered,
but though the city’s thus indecipherably orchestrated
by the evil empire, down to the very molecules in my brain
as I think I’m thinking, can I escape morning happiness,
or not savor our fabled “texture” of foreign
and native poverties? (A boy tied into greengrocer’s apron,
unplaceable accent, brings out my coffee.) But, no, it says here
the old country’s “de-developing” due to its mountainous
debt to the First World–that’s Broadway, my cafe
and my table, so how can I today
warm myself at the sad heartening narrative of immigration?
Unnoticed, the narrative has altered,
the displaced of capital have come to the capital.


Date: 2000

By: Anne Winters (1939- )

Friday, 12 June 2020

The British by Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah

Serves 60 million

Take some Picts, Celts and Silures
And let them settle,
Then overrun them with Roman conquerors.

Remove the Romans after approximately 400 years
Add lots of Norman French to some
Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings, then stir vigorously.

Mix some hot Chileans, cool Jamaicans, Dominicans,
Trinidadians and Bajans with some Ethiopians, Chinese,
Vietnamese and Sudanese.

Then take a blend of Somalians, Sri Lankans, Nigerians
And Pakistanis,
Combine with some Guyanese
And turn up the heat.

Sprinkle some fresh Indians, Malaysians, Bosnians,
Iraqis and Bangladeshis together with some
Afghans, Spanish, Turkish, Kurdish, Japanese
And Palestinians
Then add to the melting pot.

Leave the ingredients to simmer.

As they mix and blend allow their languages to flourish
Binding them together with English.

Allow time to be cool.
Add some unity, understanding, and respect for the future,
Serve with justice
And enjoy.

Note: All the ingredients are equally important. Treating one ingredient better
than another will leave a bitter unpleasant taste.

Warning: An unequal spread of justice will damage the people and cause
pain. Give justice and equality to all.

From: Zephaniah, Benjamin, Wicked World!, 2000, Puffin Books: London, pp. [unnumbered].

Date: 2000

By: Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah (1958- )

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Civilized by Doris Seale

Not so loud.
Not so sad.
Not so happy.
Not so mad.
Not so flamboyant
Not so goddammed Indian.

From: Seale, Doris, Ghost Dance: New and Selected Poems, 2000, Oyate: Sonoma, California.

Date: 2000

By: Doris Seale (1936-2017)

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Giving Poetry Readings by Donna Brook

I don’t want to say, “This is called . . .”
when I’m the one who called it this.

I don’t want to explain a poem to people.
I want them to explain it to me.

I don’t want to pull rabbits out of top hats.
But I’d love to hold a rabbit by its silky ears
and pull a hat out of its bottom,
popping the hat open as if I were Fred Astaire
without getting rabbit shit on anyone.

And this little number
which I extracted from the asshole
of a timid but multiplying woodland creature
is from the heart, dedicated to you
and yours,
and theirs.

I don’t want to commit egotism under the guise of art.
How about art under duress
and over the top;
how about that
and then this
and then what you’ve always wanted
in the way of magical and communal and possessed?

From: Brook, Donna, “Giving Poetry Readings.” Ploughshares, vol. 26, no. 4, 2000, p. 42.

Date: 2000

By: Donna Brook (1944- )

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Sentimental Moment Or Why Did the Baguette Cross the Road? by Robert Hershon

Don’t fill up on bread
I say absent-mindedly
The servings here are huge

My son, whose hair may be
receding a bit, says
Did you really just
say that to me?

What he doesn’t know
is that when we’re walking
together, when we get
to the curb
I sometimes start to reach
for his hand.


Date: 2000

By: Robert Hershon (1936- )

Thursday, 17 January 2019

From “Contr’Amours (Counter Loves)” by Étienne Jodelle

O you who have the head of Jove
For father and mother, who as you please
Can wage a war or keep the peace,
If I be yours and praise you alone

And if I distress for you the goddess
Who bore false Love, he whose arrows
Of peace and war, charms and sorrows,
Are plunging your poet into madnes,

Then come, come help avenge your suitor.
Bring me the writhing locks of the Gorgons,
Squeeze the filthy paunch of your dragons,

Get me so drunk on Stygian water
That I puke such ordure on the lady
As she hoards in her soul and body.


Date: c1570 (original in French); 2000 (translation in English)

By: Étienne Jodelle (1532-1573)

Translated by: Geoffrey Brock (1964- )

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Your Humble Wife is Unwell by Xu Shu

Your humble wife is unwell,
Sickness prevents her from returning.
Lingering disease keeps her indoors,
Her health situation is not stable.
Imperial attendance is not worthy,
Respect goes to the wrong people.
You are on an official mission,
Going afar to the capital.
You will depart for long,
But we cannot meet.
Expectation and longing is intense,
Waiting only makes one restless.
I am missing my husband,
Your looks appear in dreams.

From: Peterson, Barbara Bennett (ed.), Notable Women of China: Shang Dynasty to the Early Twentieth Century, 2000, Routledge: Oxon, pp. [unnumbered].

Date: 1st century (original); 2000 (translation)

By: Xu Shu (1st century)

Translated by: Zhu Zhongliang (19??- )

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Joy by Joseph T. Barbarese

sometimes appears where nothing was
as wildflowers will
suddenly there in the afterstorm
on the banks of ragged hills

just as a passing trucker,
roaring by, happens to look
past the angles of his fingernails
and the cover of the matchbook

between his teeth, and asks himself
what’s new in that old field
and feels his lonely surprised heart
shaken, and maybe healed.


Date: 2000

By: Joseph T. Barbarese (1948- )

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Jugglers by Francisco Aragón

She and I on a bench eating prawns:
the first day of her fiftieth year and she points
at two street performers about to juggle
fire and a distant summer morning
surfaces, afloat on the light wind blowing
off the bay — older sisters are hiding in the dark,
big brother is parading around the house
his hands outstretched and clutching large candles
I’m on a search! he shouts
marching from room to room
till he finds them huddling in a jungle
of clothes, his beacons flickering as flame-
hot wax begins to flow across his fingers…
while she is walking to Centro Adulto, her head brimming
with phrases: the words she needs to learn so she can quit
sewing, land a job in a bank…and the sitter
is arriving minutes late, finding us wet
and trying to save a coat, a shirt, a dress — it’s
a small one: nothing the green hose
and frantic assembly line of buckets
doesn’t eventually douse, leaving walls and curtains
the color of coal — ¡Mira! she gasps
her left hand rapping my shoulder, still pointing with the right
as the torches,
from one juggler to the other,
begin to fly.

in memory of my mother (1932-1997)


Date: 2000

By: Francisco Aragón (19??- )

Saturday, 13 January 2018

The Eagle and the Crow: A Dialogue by Abul Qasim Hassan Unsuri Balkhi

A dialogue occurred, I happen to know,
Betwixt the white eagle and the crow.

Birds we are, said the crow, in the main,
Friends we are, and thus we shall remain.

Birds we are, agreed the eagle, only in name,
Our temperaments, alas, are not the same.

My leftovers are a king’s feast,
Carrion you devour, to say the least.

My perch’s the king’s arm, his palace my bed,
You haunt the ruins, mingle with the dead.

My color is heavenly, as everyone can tell,
Your color inflicts pain, like news from hell.

Kings tend to choose me rather than you,
Good attracts good, that goes for evil too.


Date: 11th century (original in Persian); 2000 (translation in English)

By: Abul Qasim Hassan Unsuri Balkhi (980-1039/40)

Translated by: Iraj Bashiri (1940- )