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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

ZIGZAG



No tracks within a good
ten miles of here
but on a misty morn
that horn
is ridin' the breeze
cutting through my brain fog
it echoes
like the call of the wild
from back in the day

I shouldn't have switched on the TV 
cuz some Trumpster shill
is telling Martha Radditz 
who the "normal" Americans are
pretty sure Caitlyn isn't on his list

I traveled all this way 
doin' the transcontinental zigzag
just to end up in a world where
transgender crappers 
would be the hot button of the day 

you can be 
whatever you wanna be
on the inside
the outside's just a shell
that we tortoises use
to deflect the rain 

(and I don't know who I am
but life is for learnin')

so when I present the idea 
of trans-racial
I'm sayin' it's not a bridge too far
cuz we am what we am
and we are what we are

not the same as mixed blood
it means starting out identifying
as one ethnicity 
but waking up one day to realize
that in your heart 
you are something else

never knew why I always wanted
to jump out of this pale skin
til I ran into the lost ones (who
like the Indians Columbus encountered
were never lost to themselves and thus
had no need of being "discovered")
and found there was Cherokee blood
from grandma 

the most captivating woman 
at age 32
I've ever seen 
her eyes foretold me
foreshadowed the coming 
of the little bastard
and one by one the pieces
began to fall into place...

a half-bro
who is half Hispanic
all the time spent 
south of the border
and in the Caribbean 
where I saw a way of life 
that was impervious to sorrow
whenever a street band would play
and knew so strong in my gut
that it was a part of me
and always had been

how my paths zigzagged
and crisscrossed
like an etch-a-sketch sky
spinning round so fast sometimes
I met myself speeding in the other direction

I'm not what I appear to be 
bro
though you would never know

and now I'm reading Sherman Alexie
who says that Indians seldom travel
in a straight line

not even the Crows



   


26 comments:

  1. ZOWIE!!!!!!! This is your magnum opus, my friend. I LOVE it and identify with it so much, especially growing up in one ethnicity and then discovering I am another. In your case, you were fortunate to discover Cherokee blood. My identification is one of my inner being, rather than heritage. Never have been at home in this pale skin, the skin of the oppressor all over the world. I LOVE the shell "we tortoises use to deflect the rain." And the way of life you found that was impervious to sorrow. Sigh. This poem is a FEAST! I love it. My new fave of yours.

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    1. Sherry, THANK YOU! I'm overwhelmed.

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  2. This is a superb poem. It handles itself so well on tricky terrain mostly because it refuses to travel in a straight line.

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  3. I especially enjoyed this line: "we tortoises use to deflect the rain." We have to have a hard shell to deflect all the strangeness in the news nowadays. Excellent poem.

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  4. My goodness this is an absolutely brilliant write!!

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  5. Interesting poem. If your initial reaction is to go dance with the street band and you have to stamp on your own toes to stop yourself from doing so because you are wearing a suit and tie,you can count on some exotic call of the wild thing in your genetic makeup.Your Gran is a beauty.Hope you inherited her good looks:)

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  6. What glorious introspection, a fantastic write, I so enjoyed this.

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    1. Much appreciated...good to hear from you

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  7. I love the voice, the content, the style, the mood.... Through my maternal grandmother I have the other kind of Indian, the Hindu kind – and it doesn't show, much as I always wished for long black hair and big brown eyes. But otherwise my story is different. I dreamed all my life of going to India, wasn't particularly interested in the UK, but when at last I visited both, it was Scotland I fell in love with, where my maternal grandfather came from, and a lot of things about me finally made sense. Heritage is complex! (When it comes right down to it, I'll settle for just being Aussie.)

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    1. Lovely story, Rosemary. I may be one of the pioneers in this movement, but heritage--as it reads on paper--doesn't necessarily have to be what you are if you want to identify as something else, any more than the gender you came with in the original package has to define you forever.

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  8. The things we would see if we could look inside each and understand what's there (care for what's there). And not just part of social norms beliefs, but as a celebration of humanity, individuality, self...

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    1. I'm right with you, Magaly. If what was on the inside was on the outside, a lot of us wouldn't even recognize each other :)

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  9. Made me laugh and then think of the Billy Connolly joke, about the wife buried in the back yard, on his first TV appearance with Parkinson in the UK. Made him a star.

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  10. "...paths zig zagged like an etch-a-sketch sky...". What a wonderful line!!

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  11. ... and this how it is and always be, friend Tim ... it's all fun and games until someone loses his wiener ... meouw ... Love, cat.

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    1. ... she is beautiful ... Love, cat.

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    2. We're still okay on that front--lol

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    3. Her eyes speak to me through time and space.

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  12. Awesome blog, i always enjoy & read the post you are sharing!
    Thank for your very good article...!

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