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Other notable work by Debbi Brody.
Picture # 36
I like me in this picture.
I’m sitting on my bed with a light purple camisole on.
My breasts show a little.
My long arms are hanging touching the bed from the back.
They help me support my body. I’m looking directly to my undone bed.
My soft hair covers my face, the ends are curly.
In this picture I am barely awake, I had just gotten up.
I think I am looking for something but I can’t see it.
My legs are bent and my lower bottom rests on top of them.
It’s dark but there is a light that illuminates me. That’s all.
The rest is beautiful silence.
This photograph makes the world smaller for me. It’s my den.
That wall in back of me is a covered galaxy. I call it “planet wall.”
But it really isn’t. It’s just a collection of colors and ideas . . .
three thousand ideas that keep changing.
Dali wrote on the back this photograph: pic,36 the nature of your life is enough.
No one can break this
He is not alone
Joseph in Egypt
The old woman
As I grow older
The science of music
The expression moves my mind
There is singing
From the jungles of Peru
This is me
The deep sea
there is an eye
on this page
the chickens need
the green tea
a book a pen
there is a shadow of
a person in a circle
a drunk white dot
[from universe to body to feeling]
I came from some part of the universe
Where the water was green-blue
My eyes were moons
I walked and I followed things
My body was a jelly fish never white
In those days I learned to talk to silence.
I was water flesh and air. My body remembers everything I am.
It’s almost as if I never grew.
I keep a few secrets because most of me shows.
I tell people “I’m a baby bird ― a chick”
And I’m always certain that I’ve told this before.
I hate to say “It’s ok It’s ok” ― when IT’S NOT OK.
I don’t hate chairs pens papers
Computers children dogs
Not even the gray hairs I grow.
I hate some of my sister’s words
After my divorce.
She reads a poem about children and their mother
Stops drops a glass of water
Calls herself clumsy smiles at the audience
Keeps reading in sweet fear
She is Medicine Woman
Has six children four adopted
No husband her flesh is full and cleansed
She writes becomes one voice
How the children’s mother dies
Asking questions asking
do my kids have enough peanut butter?
She is a strong mountain
Nervously twisting her tennis shoes
at the podium
Tasting words with her feet.
My name is Monkey
And this is a half-truth
My mother told me my name is Red
She leaned in to kiss me, but we did not connect: too many kitchen tiles away
Tricolor, I said. Tri-co-lor
You tap my forehead while I’m sleeping
Who is this?
And you in the window is not you
Clap your hands. [clap, clap]
Overnight flights are cheaper
They are turning her into a handshake and a hotline voice
What is the subject?
I think it has to do with touch
He’s confused; why?
You can rest on the bed if you’d like
Stop. Don’t come too close. Just listen
I hear water; a waterfall, perhaps.
Are you there, mother? I said my name is Monkey
Your style was always more brittle
I know by heart
Gianina Opris is the author of three chapbooks of poetry, including Moon is Always Moon (Green Fuse Press). Her most recent project is a musical recording entitled Lagrimas. Awards received: selected for 2004 international poetry exhibition, NW Cultural Council, Barrington, IL. Gianina holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Naropa University and teaches Language Arts in the Denver Public Schools. Her latest works have appeared in Bombay Gin, Blaze Vox, & Cyclamens and Swords Publishing. Gianina has taught wor kshops and presented her poetics/multi-media productions in Colorado, New Mexico, Cuernavaca (México) and Mancora, (Perú). “Gia” is a native of Lima, Perú who lives in Denver.
At the Indian School
Memorable and strange occurrences
of students gone by, beaten
language burned off tongues,
hearts broken windows,
war rages in times of peace.
Cerrillos Road spread out
in Native souls’ howling
for mystery, like a walk
beings float over head,
moan like whale song.
Time never runs out, no limit
to pain, to undoing. Only
a hammer and irresponsibility.
We look for whatever wiggles
then bring in its opposite.
Some things never change.
Ten clear skin, shining black hair women invited to dinner. Guests
of twenty balding, bad teeth dark suited unknown men.
Good for business says their failing restauranteur friend.
The men speak a home town idiom, half disappear,
other half divide the woman between them, expect
something in return for a seventy-nine dollar dinner.
Chen Ting owns a couture bridal store on Half Moon
Street. One of a kind Asian inspired wedding designs.
The shop is decorated like a gold eternal bliss moment.
Movie stars buy ten-thousand dollar gowns, two-
thousand dollar veils. To Chen Ting’s Chinese
born friends, she is an unwed commodity,
no place to call home. She measures, chalks, cuts,
stitches each piece, irons every segment three times.
Two machines in the back room where she sleeps.
Homeless woman, supporting her clan in China,
white taffeta on one machine,
on the other, ivory brocade.
Eight Ways In
Walk deep inside your pain, swim in it, wash in it,
gargle it. Step out of it, let wind dry your body,
leave salt to irritate, rub off your dead skin.
At night your perspiration allows the right
amount to dissolve and soak back in.
The crazy man and the saint see Eagle swim with Fish,
Fish fly with Eagle. The insane and enlightened
watch auroras expand and contract around distant planets.
The mad and the martyr are pulled by gravity,
hear God’s voice from barbed wire and bushes,
meet God on mountaintops and when they sleep.
A poem is like Matzo, we want to share the shape of the world,
of a solitude. We knead water and flour, it rests, catches
yeast from air. Let it lay, create gaseous space.
There is never time enough before we must stamp
it down, hard fists, bring it raw to the harsh sun.
It dries brittle and flat.
The pilgrim tastes dirt, rips her garment, starves her body,
chants her prayers. When she stumbles, she is embraced
by arms she does not feel, held by one she does not know.
The one she seeks.
We spin the gold and silver infinitesimal thread, pulled up
from earth, an unending root, wrap it around ourselves,
a mobius built breathing cocoon. A pod, a buffer
as we twirl our way in and out of the infinite.
What did I tell you about eagles, fish, wind, abandon, water,
salt, bread, God? None of it is true. Only the split moment
my breath combines with yours-enlightenment.
Paint chipped from an adobe wall, like anger
shows the troweled, well nursed mud beneath.
Dissolution, unspun irritant emanates from an
exposed space, fills the room. A concussion,
a contusion shaped like two hands praying.
I want to write like Rumi. No, I want to be Rumi,
drink from his cup, twirl on his feet, hear the reeds
speak. Commune with ghosts and owls. Stumble
home in the rain, soaked in God.
Longing for the Full May Moon
Wander out on cactus flecked mesa
like all broken hearts before,
stare up at heaven, beg
the Moon Goddess Celine to send
a charm to calm and cool a rare
and brutish spirit.
Mother Crescent abandons us again,
will not visit this dry and tender whore.
She organizes spring meadows,
drops hawks, stars, radishes and lizards
throughout her cosmos in quiet secret
ceremony. She breaths pearls into oceans,
corn into earth and bridges into cities.
She floods empty vessels with wine
and presses dreams inside wolves.
Stay near the door, await
her honeyed garments.
Debbi Brody conducts poetry workshops and readings at festivals and other venues through out the Southwest to writers aged twelve through eighty-five. She publishes frequently in regional and national literary journals. Her work has appeared in the Santa Fe Literary Review, Broomweed Journal, Poetica, Sin Fronteras and many others magazines and books of note including numerous anthologies. Her latest book, Portraits in Poetry, (Village Books Press, Oklahoma, 2006), as well as her chapbook, FreeForm are available through firstname.lastname@example.org. Debbi lives in Santa Fe where she has co-owned Canyon Road Contemporary Art, Inc. with her husband Bob since 1994.