August Fevered Writing — Sesshu Foster

This month’s collaborating poet, Sesshu Foster, produced this fevered writing  based on four prompts given by Terry Wolverton. Terry will be writing a new poem incorporating her choice of these words.

Hell’s Zip Code

Guadalupe to Union Station 7 pm great
white cumulus roiling cumulus upon cumulus
my little money tree
the student gave me, thanks! the idea that hell
hath a furious zip code: Kafkaesque letter carriers
scurrying to deliver dead letters
to some long dead forgotten LOS ANGELES
(Terminal Annex, of course) (of course)
open 24 hours like the gas station where the
woman set herself on fire, “I can’t take this shit anymore”
image that light—seen from a great distance—a burning
human (Ana Mendieta) like L.A. on fire 1992,
prelude to Katrina

Dreams Worth More Than Money

San Gabriels sleeping, yucca, creosote, Spanish broom, tobacco
sleeping, decayed granite asleep and clouds of dreams in the arroyos,
over the canyons, pitted, rugged, desiccated ravines of
consciousness that resists (therefore coupled to) Eurocentric
“thinkers” (Beaudrillard, Benjamin, Semiotexte, whatever)
resistance within parameters of colonization, the
resistance of colonizers against mestizaje, dark bodies,
the dreams of the Other, the Othering of dreams,
“to suggestion the European variant is lonely thinking
of sole thoughts

Slavery to Vegetables

Upstate NY’s blue mountains, they served us very (very)
nice home-made breads, scrumptious soups with barley in it,
like I said to somebody, “white people’s food,” but good!
Butter on fresh-baked breads, where do you get that?
I got a ticket driving south from the place on the wooded
highway— speeding, pulled over by female HP, “expired
registration,” it wasn’t my car! (I was to leave the vehicle
parked in the parking lot of the train station or airport,
whatever it was— its like a dream, faded ticket of a dream.)
Damp asphalt covered in leaves. Night flight across the

I’m No Longer Afraid

Mostly, they won’t try to kill you, mostly, the dead dog will not
lift its head to speak, you will not long wander through vacuous
spaces of warehouse-like Mexico City market places seeking the
exit and your people, Koreatown on a busy afternoon, the Metro
line station at Western, Jose Lozano people surrounding you,
“in a flood of humanity,” (black and white orchestral tones rising,
Charlie Chaplin’s clock flits by like a barracuda in the strait) any
minute now I gotta go, I’ll awaken, dispel the thin visions of poofy
memory, attendant sentiment and electric fan— Kerouac’s notion,
“we’re already dead,” the male apocalyptic self-indulgence of
themselves as apotheosis, not the woman attending to business,
doing the chores. No longer afraid.

Readers who are contemplating writing your own poems may work with just the prompts or choose to use one or more passages of fevered writing to inspire your poems. Best Reader poem we receive in August will win a $25 prize.


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