Spoon River Poetry Review has nominated two of my poems from my collection, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) for a 2020 IL Arts Council Award!
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
Secret Airplanes Press, 2018
In most countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the government department responsible for state diplomacy as well as for providing for the country’s citizens abroad—often displaced persons. This collection of recorded “releases” (poems) takes the idea of a government entity created to protect its citizens and applies it to the authors’ parents—MOther & FAther, displaced people of WWII who experienced immigrant hardship and inherited PTSD, which triggered abuse and addiction—and who were then unequipped to protect their children (citizens) from the epigenetic trauma of displacement. This is the author’s protective “document”; these are her “papers”.
Following files recovered from Cabinet 6.17.1973.XX, Portsmouth Naval Base. Exiled subject reached a complex, domestic pact with units 1.11 & 10.30.
A girl is a chrysalis, an ornament. Formed from an inexorable, nuclear choice. Once
unobstructed, the subject shares parallel experiences with a luminary —— psychogeneology, for instance.
A girl has fallen behind in the United States, dwindling down to nothing, tripping over
her own dead languages, an attempt to become fully seen, fully scene again
by some self (later redacted).
S.O.S. steel wool needles on the back,
S.O.S. beet-blood skin under fingernails.
A girl arrived, came from two whom arranged and constructed a pellucid
frame, pulled the subject down
(similar to a film screen)
and proceeded to set up. Bystanders view ferocity and bile projected upon
original skin, but life is pre-recorded film. Break into the projection booth to disrupt it, but the disruption is also
pre-determined, so it does not amount to disruption at all.
Late night features for several decades:
The Booze Returns
Adulterers Reveal Nothing
Revenge of the Molester
For whom these personal dramas recurred: “the midnight show.”
a girl attempts to develop
dark room. Harsh light impeded
her process time. Torture devices
identified: metaphor belts. Notches across abdomen, shredded skin, small of back a whistling hem.
A girl identifies with chaos, transparency. Little-to-no self.
Post-surveillance: “It was good. I could shape-shift. It was convenient. But eventually it became apparent that I required diplomatic skills to globally survive. Required support and defense. Left to my own devices.”
END OF RELEASE
always “in” something
“out of it.”
A girl throws herself
into things, constantly
(which is very Buddhist;
END OF RELEASE