Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Debby Florence


I am one hundred years old. When the birds do their evening song and
I am walking near the industrial trains with their graffiti cooking in
the sun, I can hear your machine gun. Your face looks so young but I
know you are old like me. You have solidified your mask so it doesn’t
age. I am walking on the hot earth that is measurably able to scorch
thank god for shoes. I am walking slower than I want to. I am walking
slower than I can walk. The sun is making two suns in my burning eyes.
I drag my hand across the strange solidity of chain-link fence.

I believe is getting closer. Deepest things. I believe inching into.
Blinking screens of our faces. I believe static monstrosities that are
burning down, are burning themselves down. I believe the fire causes

I have things inside a basket and she keeps struggling to spill it out.
So I hide the basket. One day, the basket is too heavy. I put it on a
table and she burns it. As it burns she sees her own face in the flames.
Her mother’s face and her mother’s mother’s face. The basket turns to
ashes. She sweeps them into a vase and puts flowers in the vase and the
flowers die. She curses my name.

A mouth is floating downstream. Several hours later there is only foam.

Pronouns aren’t savages. Pronouns never were. Pronoun let pronoun go now.
Pronoun put this back. Stop making formations, no matter how beautiful. Stop
winning. Pronoun has gone under. Pronoun must go back. If only as a little
herb garden along the fence. If only when sinking desperately into the earth.
If only blood, asking for help, sends its message through the soil. I am
talking to you. My confidence angers you. I am talking to you of peace. My
peace threatens you.

Debby Florence is a performer, poet, social worker, and community organizer who lives in Missoula, Montana, U.S.A. She has been published mostly in Canada, which she usually prefers except for this whole Harper regime thing. A creator of artist books, she has been the instigator of a small press called Slumgullion, which pedalled zines and books on a bicycle-powered bookmobile. She teaches zine-making, self publishing, and general rabble-rousing workshops to youths and adults alike.

1 comment: