glass_icarus: (junjou: akihiko hiroki [JR artbook])
[personal profile] glass_icarus
for the 43 members of Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 100, working at the Windows on the World restaurant, who lost their lives in the attack on the World Trade Center

Alabanza. Praise the cook with the shaven head
and a tattoo on his shoulder that said Oye,
a blue-eyed Puerto Rican with people from Fajardo,
the harbor of pirates centuries ago.
Praise the lighthouse in Fajardo, candle
glimmering white to worship the dark saint of the sea.
Alabanza. Praise the cook's yellow Pirates cap
worn in the name of Roberto Clemente, his plane
that flamed into the ocean loaded with cans for Nicaragua,
for all the mouths chewing the ash of earthquakes.
Alabanza. Praise the kitchen radio, dial clicked
even before the dial on the oven, so that music and Spanish
rose before bread. Praise the bread. Alabanza.

Praise Manhattan from a hundred and seven flights up,
like Atlantis glimpsed through the windows of an ancient aquarium.
Praise the great windows where immigrants from the kitchen
could squint and almost see their world, hear the chant of nations:
Ecuador, México, Republica Dominicana,
Haiti, Yemen, Ghana, Bangladesh.
. Praise the kitchen in the morning,
where the gas burned blue on every stove
and exhaust fans fired their diminutive propellers,
hands cracked eggs with quick thumbs
or sliced open cartons to build an altar of cans.
Alabanza. Praise the busboy's music, the chime-chime
of his dishes and silverware in the tub.
Alabanza. Praise the dish-dog, the dishwasher
who worked that morning because another dishwasher
could not stop coughing, or because he needed overtime
to pile the sacks of rice and beans for a family
floating away on some Caribbean island plagued by frogs.
Alabanza. Praise the waitress who heard the radio in the kitchen
and sang to herself about a man gone. Alabanza.

After the thunder wilder than thunder,
after the booming ice storm of glass from the great windows,
after the radio stopped singing like a tree full of terrified frogs,
after night burst the dam of day and flooded the kitchen,
for a time the stoves glowed in darkness like the lighthouse in
like a cook's soul. Soul I say, even if the dead cannot tell us
about the bristles of God's beard because God has no face,
soul I say, to name the smoke-beings flung in constellations
across the night sky of this city and cities to come.
Alabanza I say, even if God has no face.

Alabanza. When the war began, from Manhattan to Kabul
two constellations of smoke rose and drifted to each other,
mingling in icy air, and one said with an Afghan tongue:
Teach me to dance. We have no music here.
And the other said with a Spanish tongue:
I will teach you. Music is all we have.

-- Martín Espada

In other news, I am still indecisive and need your input! My poll appears to be malfunctioning, so let's try this without the tickies:


Also, art rec for the SGA fans (via [ profile] sheafrotherdon): Poetry in Motion by [ profile] astridv, Rodney and Teyla. &hearts!

Date: 2010-04-02 04:02 pm (UTC)
such_heights: amy and rory looking at a pile of post (Default)
From: [personal profile] such_heights
Ooh, I think any of those cuts would look great on you! 3 looks stylish without being overly high maintenance, maybe?

Date: 2010-04-02 10:16 pm (UTC)
celtic_maenad: Oil painting of girl's shoulders & head. The girl has ram's horns and red hair, pulled back. (Default)
From: [personal profile] celtic_maenad
I like #3 best. Combination of reasons, ease of care, general look, just 'because'. :)

Date: 2010-04-02 04:22 pm (UTC)
littlebutfierce: (dtb yin)
From: [personal profile] littlebutfierce
Oh man, I am loving your poetry month entries!

Re: the hair--I like all those haircuts, though possibly #6 the least. I'm not sure how practical all of them are to take care of (I generally have hair of less than 2 inches long, partly b/c of hair ineptitude on my part, heh) but they are all neato.

Date: 2010-04-02 04:57 pm (UTC)
midnitemarauder: (seashore milky way)
From: [personal profile] midnitemarauder
Yeah, the poll was wonky and wouldn't let me vote. Woe! I like 3, 4 & 5. Between 3 and 5, it depends on what you prefer, length-wise, I think.

That's a beautiful poem. The two ending stanzas are just...*sob*

Date: 2010-04-02 05:03 pm (UTC)
musesfool: close up of the Chrysler Building (home)
From: [personal profile] musesfool
Oh god, that poem.

Date: 2010-04-02 06:22 pm (UTC)
yasaman: picture of jasmine flower, with text yasaman (Default)
From: [personal profile] yasaman
I vote for 3! It looks the easiest to maintain without too much fuss.

And wow, that poem.

Date: 2010-04-02 08:38 pm (UTC)
lyras: Sparkling tree (Default)
From: [personal profile] lyras
I like 1 and 4, but since I don't actually know what you look like, you should probably discount my vote. :P

Thank you for that poem! I love discovering new contemporary poets, and he is one I'd not have come across on my own. The poem is beautiful, and the last stanza broke me.


glass_icarus: (Default)
just another fork-tongued dragon lady

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