TIE Poet of the Month: ‘from ‘If This Should Reach You In Time”, by Justin Marks

I’m reading Diane diPrima’s Revolutionary Letters outloud to myself
I’m feeling radicalized and near hysterics
I’m calling politicians and having
voice-to-voice conversations with staffers
I’m marching and shouting chants
I’m applying for jobs
I’m having imaginary conversations
with people who support the other side
I’m adopting kittens
Making salad and eating healthy
Typing typing typing
Finding ways of speaking I failed
to access before
I’m wondering what my family and I will do when the government
takes away our health insurance
I’ve (re)discovered Judaism and joined a synagogue
(The spiritual is also political)
I’m praying
I’m gathering all the stories I can of my immigrant ancestors
their flights from persecution in Russia, in Germany
I’m making donations
I’m mourning my elderly neighbor who died alone in his apartment over the weekend
Sharon Jones and Prince and David Bowie, Mohamed Ali and Leonard Cohen and Gwen Ifill
I’m going to the store and doing laundry
The wind gusts up to 50mph and howls
through my leaky windows
I’m picking up the kids from school
I’m having lunch with friends and working to be a better listener
I’m watching comedy shows at night because laughter is spiritual
and thus political
I pass strangers on the street and wonder
which side they’re on
I’m putting faith
in the poem
The poem
has power
It fights
The poem refuses
to normalize

 

Justin Marks’ books are, You’re Going to Miss Me When You’re Bored, (Barrelhouse Books, 2014) and A Million in Prizes (New Issues, 2009). He is a co-founder of Birds, LLC, an independent poetry press, and lives in Queens, NY with his wife and their son and daughter. For more, go to http://justinmarks.net/

featured image via malloreigh on Flickr

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