Good morning, Albuquerque! Good news! I had a conversation with Jon over the last weekend, and he asked me if I would like to hold down the fort here at the Ditch Rider all the way through to the end of August! Of course I said yes. I hope you all find that to be good news, as well! It's 8 am, or thereabouts, and I'm tired. I almost walked on my own eyes getting out of bed. And I need coffee. Stat. Or, STAT. Or whatever the term is when your episiotomy is defibrillated by an infarction of collateral hooptosis. But hey, insane hour of the morning or not, I am, as always, very glad to be here. Very. Listen, let's have a poem....
...So I love this poem by Kira Pelowitz; there's so much to chew on with her words here. She pulls us in with the very first line and keeps us with her throughout this mysterious, enigmatic poem with its music and idiosyncratic ("constellation laughter") lyricism. I first heard Kira perform this star-studded poem a short time ago at a local poetry slam in Rio Rancho, and I was completely moved and captivated by what she did with this poem. There's so much song and rhythm and strange simile energy in her phrasing ("boughs like the night sky"); there's nocturnal, celestial dancing a-plenty in this work. I also admire how she chose to close this poem out with a nice, delayed rhyme between the intense penultimate line and the final line, which truly “sticks the landing”. In a conversation I had with her recently, I asked Kira what her favorite thing about Albuquerque is and she had this to say: "My favorite thing about Albuquerque is the natural spaces preserved both within and without the city. Over ¼ of New Mexico is composed of National forests, and within these a treasure trove of things to explore and do. When somebody says something to the effect of “Albuquerque rolls up its streets at 8pm,” they’ve clearly never gone for a walk in the Bosque at night."
Very well said! Kira, the mic is yours...
The Summer drips down our chins,
in your front yard there is a plum tree with boughs like the night sky
You, having finally grown into your telescope
pick stars without a ladder
You, sticky with constellation laughter.
The week after, your yard erupts into a field of fallen stars,
the sidewalk streaks split second before dawn purple,
I know this is your favorite color
in the drive to the eclipse,
the transit of Venus,
all night to the meteor shower
there is more sky than we could ever swallow
so the windfall blooms into fields of mold.
We only call this rotting,
because we are not the ones feasting tonight.
But in the micrographs, mycelia looks just like roadways
traffic-jammed full of spores that are built for escape
each tuned to the pull of a distant star
so when you say
“Astronauts are a lot like spores”
You star-fisted boy
You astrophysicist picking plums with a biologist
I understand, maybe, the flash in your eyes.
This is the way the species survives.
Kira Pelowitz is a scientist’s daughter, a student of Environmental Engineering and Biology at New Mexico Tech, and a poet. Her fascination with both poetry and science started when she was young, and she relies on both to answer her questions about the world around her. She’s been competing in poetry slams in Albuquerque for several years, and has self-published a chapbook, Science.
Poetry submissions are welcome. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Poetry Event News: There's an event happening on Wednesday, July 24th, at 7 PM at The Source for Creating Sacredness (1111 Carlisle Blvd SE) that you Albuquerque poetry lovers should know about: The ABQ Unidos Youth Poetry Slam Team will be featuring at the OUTSpoken Queer Poetry night, hosted by Erin Northern. This looks to be a fun event! I'd really like to see you all there. If you'd like to read in the open or compete in the slam, you'll need to be at the venue by 6:30 pm. They're starting the night off with an open mic to be held at 7 PM, and then the Unidos squad (Emily Bjustrom, Eva Crespin, Jude Marx, Matthew Brown & Mercedez Holtry) will take the stage. The slam will happen after the feature. According to the Facebook event page for this night, the open-mic is open to ALL and each poet will have 5 minutes. Additionally, topics for poetry are OPEN for both the open-mic and the slam. There's also a $5 suggested donation asked for at the door. I asked ABQ Unidos team member Matthew Brown for a hint as to what folks might be able to expect for this show, and he had this to say: "We've been producing a lot of personal pieces that have political and social justice issues weaved in. We're also working on a memorial poem for Carlos Vigil. These are our last sets of poems before we embark on Brave New Voices, and this time of year produces some of the most powerful, high energy work of the season." There you go - high energy and passion and strong writing and a remembrance in verse for a fallen friend. Let's be there.
For more info: join the OUTSpoken Facebook group page or email email@example.com.