Languages of Land: Poems of Immigration and Exile

Unaccompanied, you ventured into The Flayed City to find what? More Nomadologies, more Notes on the Assemblage and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border.

Before the Afterland, there was that City of Rivers flowing beneath a Night Sky with Exit Wounds.  It was The Other Side of Paradise and, yes, the air tasted of SaltJanuary Children discover that Beasts Behave in Foreign Land[s], especially during the Hour of the Ox.

From Unincorporatied Territory, she arrived to new air brushing against blunt teeth, A Woman Without a Country, at last, arrived. She had Whorled around the world amid weather patterns, patterns of speech, inflections, stutters and lisps Looking for the Gulf Motel. On the tip of her tongue Dhaka Dust and determination.

Where did you learn your Lessons on Expulsion?  When you were Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth? In what place was your voice born?  Upon what land did your tongue first lift towards utterance?  What is its guttural geography?  What, que, yeh kyā hai do you have to say?

This.  A poem is a pod. Each word The Winged Seed on the lip of a bowl upon Our Table of Memories. Full of seed and substance, a poem demands release from The Palace of Contemplating Departure.

 Pardon?” said the stranger. Where had he heard this before?  Words flew towards the cup of his ear.  When I Grow Up I Want to Be A List of Further Possibilities, she repeated.  She had come that day to see an Untold Passage, an exhibit, currently, on view at the Jacob Lawrence GalleryUntold Passage pairs the work of visual artists recovering the unwritten histories of immigrant communities with the work of contemporary poets.  Like a tongue, the exhibition’s title is intended to imply more than meets the eye. Untold refers to that which is incalculable and unarticulated, and passage points, not only, to the movement of bodies but also a fragment of text.

There are untold possibilities in poetry. Get inspired! Check out the resource list Languages of Land:  Poems of Immigration and Exile.  Discover the verdant in the voices of Juan Fellipe Herrera, Ocean Vuong, Zubair Ahmed, Richard Blanco, Warsan Shire, Lenelle Moïse, Safia Elhillo, Erdağ M. Göknar, Li Young-Lee, Brynn Saito and more. See the exhibit Untold Passage at the University of Washington’s Jacob Lawrence Gallery.  Get inside a poem, get a poem inside of you.

~ posted by Chris, ArtTalk

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