Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I Listen to Istanbul

By Orhan Veli Kanik

I listen to Istanbul, my eyes closed:
The cool covered bazaar,
Mahmutpasha, the courtyards
Filled with warbling pigeons,
Hammer sounds from the docks,
Smells of sweat in my lovely Spring wind;
I listen to Istanbul, my eyes closed.
I listen to Istanbul, my eyes closed:
An old world drunk in its head,
A waterfront palace with a dark boat shed,
The humming of the lodos ceases inside;
I listen to Istanbul, my eyes closed.
I listen to Istanbul, my eyes closed:
A pretty young girl walks by
Chased by taunts, come-ons and curses,
Something falls from my hand—
Surely a rose;
I listen to Istanbul, my eyes closed.
I listen to Istanbul, my eyes closed:
A bird is fluttering in your skirts,
Your brow is hot, I know,
Your lips are wet, I know, I know,
A white moon rises behind the pistachio trees—
I understand the pounding of your heart;
I listen to Istanbul, my eyes closed.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Good Bones

By Maggie Smith

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real s---hole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

For colored boys who speak softly

By Yosimar Reyes

For colored boys
I will crucify myself like Christ
let my blood purify and sanctify these words
create a doctrine and go knocking door to door
letting the people know that messiahs are here
that we are messengers
even though we embody the word queer
that we are a reminder of
how colonization has destroyed nuestra cultura
they burned our villages, nuestros pueblos
implemented homophobia, sexism, and machismo
in las cabezas de nuestros abuelos
brainwashed our ancestors into believing
that boys like us are a manifestation of the devil

For colored boys who speak softly
I'll remind the world that centuries ago
we were shamans and healers
gifted warriors
two-spirited people highly respected by villagers
but now we've become
nothing more than fags and queers
making ourselves believe
that capitalism will solve our issue...

I'll recognize
that there is more than one wound to heal
more than one struggle that we feel
but this ignorance blocks us from seeing
the greater picture, the greater evil
and these same issues
these same issues transcend the borders
because brothers and sisters
in Oaxaca
in Chiapas
in the Philippines
in Iraq
are resisting this very same system...

For colored boys
I will remind my people
que somos diferente
que somos gente
con cultura, con orgullo, con poder
we are people
and with the people we stand
breaking borders and stereotypes
like this system that exploited our hands...

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The War Continues

By Cherríe Moraga

Flesh is full
of holes.

It is made
to breathe

It is nothing

It is not meant
to be a barrier

But this dark flesh
will resist you flee
you who believe
you are not made
of the same