Paisley Rekdal’s poem, “The Structure of Pluto,” appeared in MQR’s Spring 2002 issue. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Whose only moon is Charon, ferryman of the dead who circles death’s king. No cartoon dog this, Pluto brings its own rules to the table: sheets of rock and frozen methane,
“White waves—a bitter dream—my mother’s mother in the lower deck—wet and cold in the blue-black night.
Dahomey child, betrothed when she was young, before she knew of white men or the sea.
A thin veil of fog. Her family brings a farmer, a boy not yet a man, to marry with the business of the home. Each dawn she climbs the palm tree and touches wine with her hands. A feast prepared. The gods must have a hand in this! A young goat sacrificed, okra, oranges, a basket of yams laid at her feet. She stands with old friends in new finery, her buba and iro an odd-colored blue, hair in beads, piled to the sky, tapping the palm wine from the palm tree.
Kidnapped before the roast meat was cold, snatched away to America; she was a stranger to the sea. White waves in the blue-black sea. Now a voyage of a different sort. Maria won’t go unless I come along. White waves in the blue-black sea till we land in port.”
O California, don’t you know the sun is only a god/if you learn to starve for him? I’m bored with the ocean
20 years ago MQR published the first of two special issues on the Secret Spaces of Childhood. The following poem, from Thylias Moss, is available via our archives. The Generosity of Arpeggios and Ravens Please note: The following is an arpeggio. It was possible to
The ocean’s great to look at
because there’s enough of it.
This poem originally appeared in the Spring 1980 Issue of MQR. It is available via our archives. Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons: By Abhijit Kar Gupta from Kolkata, India – Kans Grass (কাশ ফুল, kash phool)