The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday and Chipmunk

Blue Dementia
By Yusef Komunyakaa

In the days when a man
would hold a swarm of words
inside his belly, nestled
against his spleen, singing.

In the days of night riders
when life tongued a reed
till blues & sorrow song
called out of the deep night:
Another man done gone.
Another man done gone.

In the days when one could lose oneself
all up inside love that way,
& then moan on the bone
till the gods cried out in someone's sleep.

already I've seen three dark-skinned men
discussing the weather with demons
& angels, gazing up at the clouds
& squinting down into iron grates
along the fast streets of luminous encounters.

I double-check my reflection in plate glass
& wonder, Am I passing another
Lucky Thompson or Marion Brown
cornered by a blue dementia,
another dark-skinned man
who woke up dreaming one morning
& then walked out of himself
dreaming? Did this one dare
to step on a crack in the sidewalk,
to turn a midnight corner & never come back
whole, or did he try to stare down a look
that shoved a blade into his heart?
I mean, I also know something
about night riders & catgut. Yeah,
honey, I know something about talking with ghosts.


Have I mentioned that I really do not like extreme heat? Even -- especially -- before the summer solstice? Wednesday, which was also my parents' anniversary and the birthday of my niece and cousin, was painfully, ridiculously hot. Adam went for a run early hoping that it would not be too intolerable, after which I took him out for frozen yogurt. Then I did a bunch of work while he went for a bike ride.

I did have a lovely evening -- my good friend Karen from college is in town from North Carolina for a conference of women cantors, so we got to have dinner at Tara Thai with her and one of her college roommates who's a professor at Montgomery College. Go Penn Quakers '88! There's a pic below the cut, plus the chipmunk who lives around the corner from us and hides in the drainpipe when a dog or bunny is near:


  • Poem for Friday and Cabin John Spring

    A Lady red -- amid the Hill By Emily Dickinson A Lady red -- amid the Hill Her annual secret keeps! A Lady white, within the Field In placid…

  • Poem for Thursday and Carderock Deer

    Killdeer By Nick Flynn You know how it pretends to have a broken wing to lure predators away from its nest, how it staggers just out of reach .…

  • Poem for Wednesday and Canal Turtles

    The Turtle Shrine Near Chittagong By Naomi Shihab Nye Humps of shell emerge from dark water. Believers toss hunks of bread, hoping the fat…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded