Home > 3. My Poetry & Translations > A Poem, of all Things

A Poem, of all Things


poems, it seems, need to be summoned, often by late-night vigils that don’t have anything at all to do with writing–until an insistent knocking sounds at the door. RT will dispense with his reflections on the particular inspirations here; they also prefer to operate on a free-agent basis, without revealing themselves except at the pertinent moment. no, the muse doesn’t report to RT; she doesn’t ask his permission, either…in any case, here is the latest.



they fall to pieces,

gently, or not


bogart was my

husband  i saw tahoe


it was dangerous to go

i sang at woodstock.

the mind burning, then



bikes my—bekann mwen yo; once it was

my bikes, bekann mwen yo was it once

but in the Haitian order:  symbiont   (Simbi).


***********that memory, the film

reels rotting, burning to dust


the universal exile from youth, complicit

with fact: we proceed to nothing. 

we are learning

desire***not in the moment****but in

************************************our memory

these ghastly bodies no stronger

than words:****she’s dead.

******************her voice gone

li la mouri, the couple in front of the spinning driers

say, vwa li se ale as everyone stares out

******************the plate glass at leaves tumbling

******************through the parking lot… did you say****what?

the words not silent as speechless we watch

an antique car parked, the rainbow gathering

******************against the spent


not silent, the dead report their sense.


© 2014, The Rag Tree.

Illustration: Bowfin (Amia Calva). Duane Raver/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. WikiCmns; Public Domain.


  1. August 14, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Though I don’t get all the references there are some strong images — the rotting film reels of memory is one I shall treasure — and lovely turns of phrase which the amateur linguist in me savours. Poems first thing on a UK morning don’t usually grab me — but this did, thanks.

  2. August 14, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    CG: as always, thanks for your comments. the references here are confusing, in part because they have to do with Haitian creole, a language that, for me, has come to symbolize the exotic in communication. but Martinsburg does have a small Haitian community, some of whom can be found at a local laundromat. Simbi, it turns out, is not Haitian for symbiont, but the name of one of the voudon spirits or loa. This particular loa is associated with magicians, water, and the conveyance of messages. A few changes, i hope, will make things clearer, but I will leave the lines written with some attempt at imitating creole grammar as they are. RT

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