Friday, July 1, 2016

Margaret Randall

I cannot speak for the gun

I cannot speak for the gun
doing its ugly job
in George Zimmerman’s overeager hands.
I cannot speak for those eighteen ounces
easily concealed in any pocket.

Easy to guess what George’s intention was,
too easy to imagine the terror
in Trayvon’s eyes,
the grief his mother holds
four years beyond her loss.

The Law never found Zimmerman guilty
or condemned his crime.
And Martin could not know
his death would bring a nation
into the streets

or that hundreds of other black youth
would have to die, gunned down
by white policemen
or self-styled protectors
of an order that runs by exception

in this country where Law protects
the men who write it, works
for white, fails for black, rich
or poor, genders
that matter or don’t.

Now George Zimmerman auctions
the gun that murdered
Trayvon Martin. He’s asking
$5,000, promises some of the money
will go to fight Black Lives Matter

because, simply put, they don’t matter
to him. Will this gun’s new home
turn its barrel around
or lure another trigger finger
in wait?

I cannot speak for the gun or the men
who love caressing its fever.
My job is finding the words
that describe the weapon’s threat

Dear Larry:
Here's a new unpublished poem for you.
About Naropa, I'm about to go up to Boulder to teach in week 3 of Naropa University's Summer Writing Program (SWP). I've been doing this almost every year for the past decade. It's always thrilling: long days and hard work with serious students, plus the thrill of hearing the other visiting poets and writers read and lecture. Naropa . . . Started by Chögyam Trugpa Rinpoche and Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman took it over after their deaths, and her special gift for imbuing it with energy and creative exuberance permeates every part of the experience. I hear there are still openings for those interested in attending Week 3 (beginning June 26th) and Week 4 (beginning July 3rd). Week 3 features Tisa Bryant, Julie Carr, Corrine Fitzpatrick, Colin Frazer, Gloria Frym, Renee Gladman, Laird Hunt, Steven Taylor, Danielle Vogel and myself, with special guest Richard Tuttle. Week 4 features Charles Alexander, Junior Burke, CA Conrad, Christian Hawkey, Valentina Desideri, Thomas Sayers, Ellis and Janice Lowe, Thurston Moore, Eileen Myles, Julie Ezelle Patton, Paul Van Curen, TC Tolbert, and Anne Waldman . . . .  I'll be there, teaching and learning . . .

Love, Margaret.

1 comment:

  1. Hal, thanks for this blog. And Larry, thanks for posting all these poems, including mine. I am still at Naropa, although the week is winding to a close. It has been another profound and magical time here: the students more talented than ever (and more diverse), the core and visiting faculty doing our best to pass on many legacies... I read last night with Bobbie Louise Hawkins (still one of the best writers and performers I know), Corinne Fitzpatrick (smart queer voice), and Tisa Bryant (rich evocation of black womanhood in this tortured world of ours). It was a spectacular evening, just one of many at the Jack Kerouac School. I tell anyone wanting to write seriously in this country and looking for instruction, that this is absolutely the best place to come. And each time I myself return, I know that's true.