Archive for November, 2008


(For Djenane) they take our girls our women carry them off to darkness we wait heavy-hearted by the telephone until the knot in our throat dissolves each instant an hour each hour a lifetime as we wait for Persephone to be brought back home michele voltaire marcelin


there’s something special in your glass and in your eyes i have to be careful not look at you too much i could be snared like a bird in a trap unless i scorch my heels running away from you michèle voltaire marcelin

let me be

let me be i want to live truly the truth of my loving with a silk rose at my throat a black shawl around my hips and a hand on my heart’s wound dear love, i don’t complain it’s just another scar but let me be i want to die with a song on my […]

stray dog bar

through the rain i hurried to the stray dog bar to meet you but you never came tonight i will drink five star rum eat peppers till my eyes water no one will know the burning of my heart or my tears are caused by your absence michele voltaire marcelin

Under A Certain Little Star

by Wislawa Szymborska I apologize to coincidence for calling it necessity. I apologize to necessity just in case I’m mistaken. Let happiness be not angry if I take it as my own. Let the dead not remember they scarcely smolder in my memory. I apologize to time for the muchness of the world overlooked per […]


Night has come again and brought you to my door i tell you plain in this pale yellow corridor years cannot be longer than the days i’ve missed you ah, my love, encircle me in your arms and keep me there forever well, as long as forever can last days are shorter now that summer […]

my idea of paradise

  we laid in bed you beside me in the heart of darkness laughing freely and you held me naked under my dress like a leaf hidden safely in another so easily the world regained its tenderness michèle voltaire marcelin

bonjour tendresse

come it is night i’ve put ribbons in my hair for you to unravel there is wine to drink until we drink our eyes there are mussels and cockles to suck and eat until we lick each other’s salt you bless me with nights of love and sleep and when day claims my eyes you […]

lettre d’amour

  darling, the letter said i will conceal nothing i am wild about you can’t you understand i’m on fire missing you last night i was in some dark alleyway in my dream suddenly it overflowed with light when you appeared and i woke up saying your name darling, there’s a fire under the moon […]

stone field

you say i do not sing of joy but of sorrow you say each word is a reproach each a stone you say rest that fierceness erase that debt i see the sky change to fire lighting up my empty bed michèle voltaire marcelin


if you should think of me later and recall our time together do not count in months, no, not in numbers count in love and in pain, in tenderness count in silence and the weight of absence remember how the scent of you found its way through my hair how i enfolded your body through […]

one day

one day we will go to paris and sit in a café and drink wine when the sky flowers rose-red and paints shadows on the ground we will kiss on the bridge where apollinaire sang of love-pains on the seine we’ll be rodolfo and mimi in la bohème and have poetry and bread in a […]

Mama Africa

Miriam Makeba died Sunday night of a heart attack after a concert in Italy. She was 76. It seems that she collapsed after singing her signature song Pata Pata. An enormous talent with a beautiful voice and a smile to match, she will not soon be forgotten. “I look at an ant and I see […]

the promise

children die do not talk to me about prayer or paradise talk is cheap children die and my anger supercedes my grief remember it was a november morning like any other when the plaster the bricks the mortar came crashing down children die under the rubble of the promise women cry the air is as […]

Tragédie tropicale

Ma mère est morte en couches. C’est un secret de famille, mais il a été mal gardé; il s’est ébruité, éventé. Oui; il est devenu du vent. Il s’est faufilé dans l’air, s’est s’éparpillé, a passé à travers la gaze des rideaux et fait voler comme des mouches, cet assemblage de mots bourdonnés d’oreille à […]

After his departure

What is her name? What can she possibly be thinking about? The first time I saw her, she was gracing the cover of an English translation of Zola’s Nana. She never seemed quite at home there. This was no courtesan, but a woman plunged deep in reminiscence after her lover has gone. Then I found […]

I have a dream

  November 4th, 2008 “It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America. The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. Even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will […]


I don’t know about you but I have such a wildness of butterflies fluttering around in my stomach, their buoyant force could make me float. Each carrying a “What if…?” thought. And lately, I have been waking up humming Nina’s tune. Can you wait for Wednesday? Because I can’t… “Can’t you see it Can’t […]

Darwin, Lincoln and…Haiti?

“That there is suffering, no one will dispute it, but according to my judgment, happiness will decidedly prevail.” Darwin(according to Beaty) “Four score and seven years ago, my heart began to break, and for a while, I did not know what it meant to be free.” Lincoln(according to Beaty) Was there a relationship between Lincoln […]