in the valleys, corruption— from “Dispossessions of Empire”
and trash everywhere.
In the city, immigrants
claiming to be natives;
in the country, natives
without a nation:
The democracy of colonies.
Today’s read: Night Is a Sharkskin Drum by Haunani-Kay Trask – University Of Hawaii Press – 2002
Seeing struggle in different languages is another way that poetry is able to help me connect past my own experience. A poet who is unapologetic in their code-switching is a poet who helps me move forward in cultural empathy. The work to pronounce and, more accurately, mispronounce new words is a way for my brain and tongue to physically navigate in fresh directions.
Seeing the above lines I just jump to the issue of gentrification and the need for authenticity of place when so many of us are from other places and even our original homes are still just points of departure.