November 5-11, 2007: Bobbi Lurie and Nanci Rubin

week of November 5-11, 2007

Bobbi Lurie and Nanci Rubin

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Bobbi Lurie

Bio (auto)

My name is Bobbi Lurie and I live in Corrales, New Mexico My second poetry collection, “Letter from the Lawn,” was published by CustomWords in 2006 My first collection, “The Book I Never Read,” was published by CustomWords in 2003 My poems have been published in numerous literary journals including APRNew American Writing and Shampoo.

The following work is Copyright © 2007, and owned by Bobbi Lurie and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Bedouin Market
I decide to go to the Bedouin market
to buy another heart, another life
I know the price will be high
So I fill my pockets with all the gold I’ve hoarded
all these years
spending counterfeit coins
I walk through the dusty streets of Beer Sheva
The sun is white

and beats down on me like a man who says he loves me
but wants something else
The Bedouins drive Subarus now I watch them speed by
The Israelis have all been to Thailand ,
their houses are filled with souvenirs
I, an American woman,
am not worth as much as before
They used to buy us like paper,
blank reams of us,
and they’d sell us back their stories/
something exotic to tell the folks back home
But they wrote so small/ they gripped their pens so tight/
our paper crumpled beneath
the pressure
And what use is a woman whose page is full
of words buried in the body
like graveyards marked
with epitaphs
no one reads?

Still, I keep walking, plan to visit
the empty field behind my old apartment

but the field has been filled I see
houses and children growing lives
like gardens/ like seasons
I loosen my long dark hair
down my back

knowing the gray strands will cost me/

feel the heat press on my neck/

and walk


This afternoon I went to the jar, sank my finger in the honey No one saw me so I let the sweetness linger on my tongue
At night I paint black around my eyes I wash it off at morning
When everyone’s asleep, I draw on scraps of paper
I’ve collected, the backs of labels, edges torn from newspapers This is my secret

Coming back from the highway with my brothers,
I dropped my spade, went to lean against the shed,
Heard Father’s voice coming from within He was laughing with Abdullah who says he’ll buy me
For three bags of wheat
When Father’s done with me When he does I’ll slash my body with petrol,
Strike the match like Laida did
I watched those two fools empty a giant vat of honey
Into another vat, saw them pull out long tubes
They scraped with their hands, licked with their tongues Beneath the amber honey, I saw guns
Father caught me looking, jumped off his chair,
His hands were claws clipping toward me,
Shoving me hard against the wall, grabbing me there Whore!! he screamed then spit on me I couldn’t move I couldn’t speak I covered my face
Back in the tent
Mother was making lentils,
Hunched over the fire I pulled the spoon from her hand, stirred the pot
As if I were her daughter

Today, walking with my brothers, I saw Bashir He was leaning against a wall, one leg missing I knew, still a shock went through me
Seeing the dirty rags tied around his stump, the blood dried,
What looked like pus And how he stood as if he had a leg Strange how we never speak
But I walk through him with my eyes,
Enter his hidden rooms He was speaking with Khangal about the enemy
But his soft eyes were blazing holes in me,
Forcing me to see the sky and trees with deeper color Khangal saw me looking, threw his spade hard against my leg,
The pain was so intense I bled and bled,
Putting pressure on the wound with just my hand,
My burkha drenched in blood,
He pulled me up by my hair
I burned in the part of me which was not hurt
Tonight Father had guests I heard them say
They liked the bread I baked it
While Mother took a nap She did not say
I baked it She turned her back to me

I feel sickness inside me all the time I enter the back rooms with my father,
Creep out like a rat trapped in its maze,
Seek escape in the next cage where Mother stands
Brewing the food, keeping us snared in this affliction called life And I think of our martyrs dying for freedom I would like to die for freedom.                                                                                    
But I am a woman
And I do not believe in the paradise Father speaks about
While he beats me with his stick

But everyday I keep collecting my scraps of paper And when everyone’s asleep,
I draw Bashir, his stump, my father with his guns,
My mother hunched over the fire, stirring lentils I draw them all out of me I open myself to the darkness I wait for night to speak.

Nanci Rubin

Bio (auto)

Nanci Rubin lives in Fredericksburg, Virgina with her husband and two Yorkshire Terriers Her work has been published previously in Free Verse and in the A Commonwealth of Poetry

The following work is Copyright © 2007, and owned by Nanci Rubin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Laser Light

Sunrise Laser-light
bows the boughs
slicing through
the hardwoods
Avian melodies
oscillate in the
arthritic arms of pines
Below The hummingbird
dives and drives
the bumblebee
as they contend for
hibiscus nectar
Air is alive The early matinee
unfolds, nature’s show Admission, free.

A Moment In Time

The terra cotta facade
is faded now, the corners
seem softer, buffeted perhaps
by wind and torrential rains
I am not certain
if it was the wind
or your memory that has
propelled me to this destination,

but I find myself helpless not
to cross this recognized threshold Stepping back in time when
love was young and bright,

like the rich red brick of this
building forty years ago Familiar smells, muffled voices
behind walls welcome my return
A young woman walks my way Sunlight, like a bronze halo,
surrounds her copper colored hair Paper thin, she slips past me

leaving a trail of “Wind Song” behind I am breathless in realizing that
she is me, forty years ago,
in love and loved

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