Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25: More Submissions, New Poem, Oslo

I sent out some more poems for publication, this time to The Christian Century, which seems like a magazine that is custom-made for me.  I looked at quite a few poets who have published in the magazine in the past.  Their subject matter, their style, their everything seemed perfectly suited for my work.  So I sent the poetry editor five of my poems.  We'll see what happens.

Another magazine to publish in...
This morning, when I wrote a little bit about the death of Amy Winehouse, I didn't even mention the horrible killings in Norway.  Generally, I stay away from news reports on the weekends, so anything that happens from Friday afternoon to Monday morning comes as a surprise to me.

Memorial service in Norway
Obviously, the man who is responsible for the bombing and shootings in Oslo has some serious mental health issues.  Regardless of police and lawyers saying he is completely rational and sane, a person doesn't go on a murder rampage like this without a few synapses not firing correctly in the brain.  As I perused the various accounts of what happened, I started thinking about how dreams can be both liberating and fatal. 

This shooter in Norway says he was striking some kind of blow against the spread of Islam in Europe.  His violent act was his dream, his chance to take a stand for his beliefs, as warped as they may be.  Other people, like Martin Luther King and Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln, had dreams, as well.  Their dreams lead to freedom, justice, equality, tolerance.  Dreams are powerful things.

That's what today's poem is about, the duality of dreams.

Saint Marty is dreaming of a vanilla malt right now.

This is what I'm talkin' about
I Have a Dream

Martin Luther King had one,
Raised his voice, fed that crowd
The way Jesus fed his audience
With bread and fish, told them
To break off pieces, pass it along
Until everyone’s stomachs filled,
Need banished to shadow, cave,
Places where nightmare reigns.
Mandela survived 27 years on it,
The limestone, veld flower
On Robben Island, his wheat and tilapia.
Gandhi marched to the sea for salt,
Cut it into dough, sprinkled it
Over silver pomfret until its meat tasted
Like heartbreak.  I dream of lines
Baked brown, the silence of yeast,
The crash of whale fluke in dark water.
Dream is funny like that, a coupling
Of joy and sorrow, a zygote
That swims, gestates, sprouts
Spine, eye, arm, leg, finger,
Crowds the womb into light and breath,
Into a form we recognize:
Hutus wielding machetes or
Poets stringing pearls or
Prophets preaching from treetops
In the hungry jungles of the soul.

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