Death is a tribe

poems by Linda Chown


Death is a tribe

 Of thrown stones.
 Anger is a hollow 
 Of never no more.
 Now how do you scowl 
 It is such a tramps road, 
 Such an overlap of empty 
 Bones and unknowns. 
“death is a tribe
of thrown stones”
digital landscape from photographs
©2019 Michael Dickel

911 Seventeen Times Later

 The day is orange, 
 my teeth green with national mourning 
 because stars don’t plant sequoias
 and too many are dying as it is 
 it is as though caviar squeezes our tears 
 into thistle and kindness says farewell
 in this time of national mourning, 
 ghosts of what was not just morning 
“as though caviar squeezes our tears 
into thistle”
digital landscape from photographs
©2019 Michael Dickel

A dictatorial dirge

 Silent street where I meet none but rodents 
 Where that of this country’s melange is on Mars
 Here Spanish novelists write long and longer books
 While I replay the octaves of my peoples and affairs 
 Feel their skin, their word ways, sight their smells 
 And wonder with doubt how I’ll get out. 
 It will be Miriam and Calliope who will fly away with me 
 singing and gently, gently meaning everything.
“this country’s melange is on Mars”
digital landscape from photographs
©2019 Michael Dickel

2222 Andrews Road

 Swallowed up in a curtain 
 of politics and sickness 
 I grew old and hollow. 
 I would touch books,
 caress their spines, like the
 spinal cord of make believe 
 lovers. I fell into picture books 
 of survivors whose stick out 
 bones I could not touch, their 
 eyes seeing through the air.
“I grew old and hollow”
digital landscape from photographs
©2019 Michael Dickel

The Common Heart

 To speak of the common heart 
 daily stitches of change and loss 
 we share in the daylight of our lives. 
 
 Poets go there, enfold our breathings in, 
 speaking a language we don't know, 
 to color our all alone threads,
 to re-sound the pain as common, shared. 

 Poets have the key to sing “I know,” “it was like that 
 then when the great ship went down, 
 when the morning came in backwards with the tide.” 
 
 I hear you, they say in a slowing turn:
 It is the business of the common heart to cry its pieces 
 and sing curved out in its common swelling. 

Linda Chown

Read Intrications 1–5 by Linda Chown on Meta/ Phor(e) /Play.


Linda Chown, has published four poetry collections, Buildings and Ways, All the Way up the Sky, Inside In, and To Say Thinking with the Binding Precision of Dreams. Poems in The BeZine, Foothill Quarterly, Quixote, Intro 3, Dark Horse, Magdalene Syndrome Gazette, Women Spirit, Grand Valley Review, Empty Mirror, Numéro Cinq, Poethead. She worked five years with the outstanding San Francisco Poetry Center, with extensive workshopping and friendships in the Bay Area artistic community. She published a critical book, Narrative Authority and Homeostasis in Selected Works of Doris Lessing and Carmen Martín Gaite and numerous essays and reviews, recently in Empty Mirror, Numéro Cinq, and Buzcritics.org and in various journals. She spent 18 years living, writing, and teaching in southern Spain where she was a Fulbright professor of America literature for two years, giving talks in Spain, one year at the University of Deusto, one year at the University of Salamanca. Subsequently, she has taught for many years at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. She is writing more all the time. 

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