#TheSealeyChallenge Day 28: The Collected Poems of Ai.

From Twenty Year Marriage:

Pretend you don’t owe me a thing
and maybe we’ll roll out of here,
leaving the past stacked up behind us;
old newspapers nobody’s ever going to read again.

Reread Cruelty after 30+ years.

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #89

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 28: Look, by Solmaz Sharif

No excerpt today. I’m posting this away from the book. I’ll post the excerpt tomorrow when I have the book in my hands again.


Bookshelf Juxtapositions #88

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 26: Heavy Daughter Blues, by Wanda Coleman

from Stampede

my mind belly and elephant
these gnats no matter how many i eat
are not filling
must be a finer feast elsewhere, but where?


#TheSealeyChallenge Day 25: Kissing God Goobye, June Jordan

From The Bombing of Baghdad


And all who believed some must die
they were already dead
And all who believe only they possess
human being and therefore human rights
they no longer stood among the possible humane

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #87

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 24: A Red Cherry on a White-Tiled Floor, Maram Al-Massri, tr Khaled Mattawa. Last translation of the month.


I will close my eyes,
I will not guard
your temple.

This time
I will let
the mischievous god
escape barefoot.

#WITMonth #sealeychallenge

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #86

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 23: Anxiety of Words, tr Don Mee Choi.

From Song of Skin, by Kim Hyesoon

The open lips find my breasts
though they weren’t told where mine were,
draining sweet water from my body.
They want to suckle again right after they’ve eaten.


Bookshelf Juxtapositions #85

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 22: The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova, tr by Judith Hemschemeyer.

I read her first book, Evening, and some of the later poems as well. It’d be fascinating to read them all in order and experience her development over time.

#WITMonth #sealeychallenge

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #84

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 21: Sin: Selected Poems of Forugh Farrokhzad tr by Sholeh Wolpé

from Summer’s Green Waters

We sully each other with our breaths,
with the purity of happiness.
We fear the sound of the wind.
We pale when doubt shadows enter…

#WITMonth #sealeychallenge

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 20: An Absence of Shadows, by Marjorie Agosin, translated by Celeste Kostopoulos-Cooperman, Cola Franzen & Mary G. Berg.

The more I read of this book, the more I kept thinking of June Jordan.

#WITMonth #sealeychallenge

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #83

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 19: Language Duel/Duelo del Lenguaje, by Rosario Ferré.

The first poem in the book is in the pictures.

#WITMonth #sealeychallenge

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #82

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 18: Directions For Use, by Ana Ristović, tr Steven & Maja Teref

From Little Zebras:

The more I read
the more books
resemble little zebras
their spines bend under the thumb
anticipating the riders
they won’t buck off.

#WITMonth #sealeychallenge

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #81

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 17: Spring Essence, tr by John Balaban:


My body is like the jackfruit on the branch:
my skin is coarse, my meat is thick.

Kind sir, if you love me, pierce me with your stick.
Caress me and sap will slicken your hands.


#TheSealeyChallenge Day 16: The Ink Dark Moon, tr by Jane Hirshfield with Mariko Aratani:

By Izumi Shikibu:

We live
in a tide-swept inlet,
floating, flung.
In such a world, why cling to
collections of poems?

#WITMonth #sealeychallenge

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #80

#TheSealeyChallenge Day 15: BeautyBeast, by Adina Dabija, tr by Claudia Serea:

from The Blood:

I’m thirty and I have known the blood.
I am the second daughter of Ana
who stuck a spindle into her uterus
to get rid of the baby.

#WITMonth #sealeychallenge

Bookshelf Juxtapositions #79