"...poems that sing with honed lyricism and earthy knowledge...
We follow the shadows into an industry of light and textured
innuendo." —Yusef Komunyakaa
"...a quiet energy, an unassuming intellectual rigor, a discreet toughness."
See the Archives of Poetry Daily for a sample poem: "Beeman."
In The Casbah, I Write Treatises on Clothing
But I have only my own clothes
that I have brought and hate
because you haven't loved them.
My hand must be an oystershell:
It doesn't want to part from you
or the layers of your clothing
that, through a particular twist of logic,
cover wrinkled overalls. Overalls
beneath which legs sturdy from deceit
could bear you away, beloved.
Maybe my hand could produce rubies
even in the guise of an oyster—
make for you one vast ruby,
a tiny house, although houses
are much trickier to land.
Hadn't I built spare rooms
against the specter of an empty
grainstall, and couldn't each
rooftop bed be multiplied into a city
dependent on imagining largesse?
I'm not ambitious, only patient.
I make wings of my arms and flap them,
until you gather I will bring a chicken
to the feast of unfixed date.
I do not put much home in it,
nor in my other gifts. Is this pocket
a melancholy crèche you wanted altered?
Did God really see us when I
kissed you a little on the roof?
You had better send me some world.
© 1999 by Deborah Woodard
The Orphan Conducts the Dovehouse Orchestra