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.
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
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.
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.
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, 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.