week of February 5-11, 2007
BECOME A POET OF THE WEEK
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Tammy Ho and Reid Mitchell
We are engaged in an on-going cross-cultural, cross-national, cross-racial, cross-gender, cross-a-lot-of-things-collaboration Tammy Ho is a young Hong Kong poet.
Reid Mitchell, a historian and novelist, was the Fulbright Visiting Professor of American Studies at the University of Hong Kong, 2005-2006 He is currently living in New Orleans, USA.
Much of our work has been written in the form of dialogues–or overlapping monologues–that combine elements of poetry, prose, and drama We don’t really have a name for what we are attempting to do; if we have to have a name, we’d call it trans-Pacific literature.
Visit Tammy on the web here: www.sighming.com
The following work is Copyright © 2007, and owned by Tammy Ho and Reid Mitchell and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
HE: I have not brought her a gift for seven weeks now A small victory, but one
of the few I can claim
SHE: When we first started dating, I wrote him a list of things that he was to
do for me One of them is to make me coffee whenever I request, given that
he’s in the same house with me.
HE: That’s what she told you? Did she tell you that it had to be a particular
gourmet coffee that I was expected to pay for? Did she tell you it had to be
made with a particular brand of water, not available in most shops, and I had
to serve it, like a French maid, in a particular porcelein cup on a particular
SHE: He is also to find my glasses if I forget where they are.
HE: As if she ever remembered where they are She presented me with a list of
tasks that doomed me to repetitive petty failures I bought her trivial
gifts–handkerchives, watches, almond candy, a soundcard for her laptop–to
excuse my humanity.
SHE: What do I do for him? Well, I never thought I needed to do anything But I
do do things for him: I read aloud stories that fascinate me, especially
stories about reductionist existence I cut his hair if it gets into his eyes His small bean eyes I put the CDs back in their appropriate shelf every other
month Don’t you think I’m nice?
HE: She’s imperious, my little imperial princess But if you have seen her
strut into a party,and strike that pose, arms akimbo, you know why I signed on
for coffee and my CDs spread across the floor.
SHE: Haha Are you kidding? I don’t write every man a list I only give those I
know will obey me a list I’m not stupid.
HE1: The tools she used, hammer and saw, looked clumsy in her hands.
HE2: She was the only woman in this house who had a little training in
HE1: She was building a box For letters? For her sewing kit? For something she
HE2: Postcards she stored in the box Some had swear words on them Some were
hand-made I wonder if you wrote her all of them during the war I wrote a
HE1: She didn’t bother to paint the box; it was made of stark, splintered wood.
HE2: Last night there was no snow, no wind, no new moon, no owls I heard her
HE1: Yesterday afternoon I heard her curse when she hit her hand with the
hammer I have never heard her cry.
HE2: I peeped into her room and she was holding the box I saw ragged edges of
some postcards Ribbon laces hold them all together.
HE1: She built the box to comfort herself; she left the splinters on to give
HE2: I asked what was happening and she looked at me with wretched eyes.
HE1: When have you ever asked her anything?
HE2: Five years ago, I think, I asked her if she was okay That was at our
funeral She refused to wear black.
HE1: When she was young, her hair was as black as widow’s weeds You never
saw her when her hands were unblemished, each fingernail a pearl Now her hair
is white like a bridal veil What did she tell you last night?
HE2: She said we shouldn’t abandon her like that.
A Locked Garden
HE: Through the window I could see an orange tree but I never walked out to sit
in its shade.
SHE: I tried one time to sit in its shade and there were squirrels playing
tricks on me.
HE: I would go outside to pluck its fruit, but I am told its fruit is too
SHE: They competed to get close to me Those shy creatures could only manage the
foot of my satin dress I beckoned them to come closer, as if I was a goddess.
HE: Through my window, the orange tree is a portrait always changing I wish it
was a still life.
SHE: For one second, a courageous squirrel jumped on my stomach I put down my
book and the half-eaten tomato-cheese sandwich I looked at him and wondered
what he would do next Plant me a kiss? Several minutes past Absolute
HE: There is a woman who once came to sit under the tree I thought of calling
her from my window But what if I startled her and she ran away?
SHE: I wished someone else saw all this: me and the squirrel with two blackberry
eyes suspended in time When the little squirrel hopped away to his jeering
mates, I no longer know if I had imagined the moment of stillness.
HE: While I watched, a rascal of a squirrel tried to steal her sandwich I
don’t like motion pictures
Peter T Ely
I am a graduate of Penn State University I run about five or six miles most days, to relax when I am not writing I have recently published a thriller, entitled Gunpoint, with Publish America I will be publishing a second thriller, The Butcher, with American Book Publishing, in the near future I am presently tutoring a friend in literature the English Romantic poets, and the plays of William Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, Henrik Ibsen, and Jean-Paul Sartre, so far
The following work is Copyright © 2007, and owned by Peter T Ely and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
The Radio Meteorologist’s Liver Cancer
The Radio Meteorologist pronounced the word “Zero”,
Indicating the Wind Chill Temperature,
With utter Finality and Decisiveness,
As if he were settling the issue of All Of Reality,
Once And For All
Little did the Authoritative And Austere Sounding Meteorologist know
That A Small Cancer Had Started Growing
In An Obscure Corner Of His Liver,
As a consequence of the Meteorologist‚s indulging
In periodic binge drinking on weekends,
over the course of his life
Far from being at “Zero”,
This Perky and Pertinacious and Persevering
Was Growing At An Alarming Rate.