Conversations with Val, Round 1

7 Aug

ROUND 1

Val’s Poem or I Only Have Kasama Friends

The distance from Floral Park, Queens

(a.k.a. The End of the World)

To your neighborhood in Brooklyn,

Still near Prospect Park,

Is short.

But the getting-to

Is actually really long.

The MTA has trains

That ALL go to and from the city.

Well.

There is the mythical G.

Exclusive between Queens and Brooklyn.

Nonetheless, it remains elusive.

So, to get to your house,

I ride the bus and train for two hours.

I think the trip is worth every minute.

I laugh with you and learn from you

And I often think that you would be

A really cool sister.

And you are.

By choice.

More than that, though,

You are my kasama.

I sing songs of you

And write poems about you.

How you make real

Words that seem so far away,

Like Justice, Truth

And Service to the People

You make them real.

With form and substance,

Pulsing with life.

You color them brightly,

Draw them close to my eyes

And fill them with weight and taste.

The wish for a better world,

To be a person for others,

Doesn’t translate to a messianic complex

Or self-righteousness

When left in your hands.

Instead, it works hard

And does overtime.

It doesn’t mean you’re perfect.

Far from it.

You struggle with your own demons,

The sly little monkey on your back,

Whispering, whispering

Words into your ear:

Push back.  Say stupid.

Say bitch. And push.

And it doesn’t make you a bad person.

It makes you

A for-real–

The realest–

Bad-ass superwoman

With swagger.

As real

As you make this movement

To me,

Val.

Thanks.

Written by Melanie Dulfo

On the Lenox Lounge Night Part Two

Morning pages on January 29, 2010 or Mel’s Poem

“Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend.”
– MZ

The truth is that everywhere
All the time
Every second
There is a flower blooming
Leaves unfolding
Trees a-growing

Against the sometimes punishing
Other times nourishing
Sun
Against the sometimes violent
Other times careful
Rain
Inside a cacophony of breezes
Inside the majestic thunder of snowflakes

Flowers always bloom

Oft then,
Flowers bloom at the same time
Just in different places
Under different weather
Still, they are always in the surrender of time,
conditions,
obligation,
necessity,
gravity.

And yet they are kindred
Of the same land
Fed by the same
Sun
Rain
Wind
All the while, unbeknownst to them
A kindred blooming only a thousand million light years away

Blooming in concentric circles
In parallel lines
In exciting asymmetry
They are together and apart
Tied to the the underbelly of the world
An underground revolution
Of kindred flowers
That grow and grow and grow and grow

Written by Valerie Francisco

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