Saturday, September 14, 2019

Overheard at Booth 3: Our Poetry is Too Full of Nazis

Our poetry is too full of Nazis

Our poetry is too full of Nazis
And the Holocaust
And tales of heroism from a tiny family in
Lithuania or
Or Estonia.

Our poetry is too full of their
Slavic names,
And descriptions of how
They were hid behind cupboards,
Or under floorboards, or
In barrels behind barn doors,

And the blackbooted Gestapo
Who finally found them, and
Lines about how the last
Breath of their lungs
Were filled with cyanide gas,

But with a handful, the wide
Eyed innocent child or occasional
Woman, given
False papers
To be secreted away
To a new life
In America,

To spend a life of nightmares
And finally die
At the age of 90
Or 100, in Yonkers NY
Or Albuquerque NM

And the poetry is filled with these
Ghosts, these haunted eyed spirits
Of the Holocaust.

But world is filled with other Holocausts,
Other haunted eyes, eyes that never fill our

Cambodian eyes,
Salvadoran eyes,
Gypsy eyes,
Kenyan eyes,
Eyes of the South Sudanese,
Eyes of the Congalese,
Georgian eyes,
Kurdish eyes,
Eyes of the Druze,
Eyes of the Wiger,
Honduran eyes,
Ojos de los pipiles,
Irish eyes (always smiling),

Eyes of every Holocaust that does
Not fill our poetry,
Voices that never sing through our verses,
Breaths never expressed through our rhyme.

The true Holocaust, is the
Voices that die without ever
Having this opportunity,

Because we are too busy
Struggling with the Nazis
That inhabit our own soul.


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