Monday Jan 22

Kallet Poetry Marilyn Kallet is the author of 17 books, including The Love That Moves Me, poetry from Black Widow Press. She has translated books of poetry by Paul Eluard, Benjamin Péret, and Chantal Bizzini. Dr. Kallet is Nancy Moore Goslee Professor of English at the University of Tennessee. She also teaches poetry workshops for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Auvillar, France. She has received the Tennessee Arts Literary Fellowship in Poetry, and has been inducted into the East Tennessee Literary Hall of Fame. Kallet has performed her poems on campuses and in theatres across the United States, in Paris and Auvillar, France, and in Krakow and Warsaw, as a guest of the U.S. Embassy’s “America Presents” program.

---------

Passionate


Her breasts were twins
for him. He was dashing in his
uniform, Army Private First Class,
Maxwell Air Force Base,
Montgomery, Alabama.
Racism was in
then. Another fervent
bridge
between them.
My mother loathed “coloreds.”
Daddy feared “schvartzers.”

I’ve written
the uplifting narrative
of how my mother changed
over the years. Living in New York
turned her around.
At 80, in Montgomery,
she took to the streets
in civil rights protests
against the cancellation
of mid-town buses,
with placards
and young black men.
She stopped being afraid.

Edifying, right?
But those other years,
when fear and hatred bonded
my parents
with almost erotic
energy––
what shape does that take
on a chart
of family history?

How can we wipe that off
the map
without cancelling
my birth?





My Downward Dog


The A is crumbling like an ancient wall in Cahors. “Don’t you spot ruins
partout?” Between forests and highways, between

you love me and
dead air.

Someone will climb. Someone will marry them.
How to marry a wall?

Or a letter. Start by pride-swallowing.
Like alphabet soup, all beginnings.

When your letters clog
the heap, go out for wine.

Marry a book. You’re a writer.
Eat those words.

Note that A is still beautiful
while it crushes you.

A was loving at first.
Like reading the first book. Goldilocks.

Little bear burned by alphabet soup.
Like nothing else on earth,

but crueler. A stone alone in the field.
Castle in the distance.

Too far to throw.