THE THIRD THURSDAY JANUARY 21 READING AT WILLOW GLEN was a full house. Many of my friends, both personal and poet friends, attended the reading. Several copies of my new book, Bringing Home the Moon were sold that evening. Here are a couple of videos from that reading.
FROM THE PENNY CANDY STORE BEHIND THE EL
Walk down three steps to the mom-and-pop store
near Hayte School and enter a Hansel-and-Gretel land
of striped peppermint sticks, gumballs, jawbreakers
and, best of all, bubblegum. I could blow the biggest,
most unladylike bubbles in the second grade,
huge pink balloons that bloomed until I ran out of air.
What didn’t seem right, though, were the bubblegum wrappers,
like tiny cartoon strips, five sections of off-center print.
All in color, red meant blood. Severed legs and heads flew
through the air. Children, little arms stiff, lay in broken heaps.
My father explained new words to me: behead, disembowel.
From a Dubble Bubble wrapper at the penny candy store
I found out about the Sino-Japanese war. I could hardly wait
to open more gum, blocked out in green and black and blood.
We heard them before we saw them.
Two jays fluttering, screeching.
Then a swoosh so close we could
almost touch the hawk sailing past,
wings outspread, something
in its beak. Something small
with feathers. With only a quick look
still we knew. High above us the jays
squawked and flapped in disbelief,
their just-hatched baby out of sight
in little more than an instant. The jays
might not know its end, a beautiful
death come quickly. We walked on,
hoping that was so, knowing they knew.