Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Tattooed Poets Project: Lisa Gill

Today's contribution on the Tattooed Poets Project comes to us from Lisa Gill:

Locomotion Poem for Two Voices

from The Relenting by Lisa Gill


Let there be locomotion.

      Let us wind through the grasses across the mesa

      and up through the boulders to the top of the ridge;

      let us keep climbing until I can scale mountains with you,

      some red-faced cliff with petroglyphs

      or a bluff topped with aspens,

      any place we can rise up counterintuitive

      while monsoons run down arroyos…


As if gravity were always something to succumb to

instead of just another kind of magnetism

designed to remind you

to scale


because today my body has become simply some unexpected soft surface

for you to encounter in your environment,

as if love were tactile,

or timely,

as if love didn’t have rough edges,

my own elbows and knees,

a scathing surface of jutting collarbone and breast,

together we are a cacophony of softness and hardness.


My spine against your belly.


Your ribs wrapped by the reach of my arms.


My jaw pressed against your sternum.


Hard valley of animal meeting reptile.


The length of our long bodies intertwined…


Because I am the one who can help you molt

the parts of your body hardened by parasites,

the epidermis solidified so tough you can’t grow

or breathe into who you are becoming…


And I am the one who can help you remember

that fear doesn’t have to be fraught with expectations of danger;

sometimes it’s simply anticipation of interactions not yet experienced.

If there is a reason for our togetherness, let it be vulnerability,

the sloughing off of old ways, the abandonment of fierce exoskeletons

that protect us a little too well,

as if you and I have been calling it safe to be sealed under a bell jar,

as if that vacuum were enough to merit the word “alive”….

when the other option is this…


Intensity of now.


Be sure to check out one of Lisa's tattoos over on Tattoosday here.

New Mexico poet Lisa Gill is the recipient of a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, a 2010 New Mexico Literary Arts Gratitude Award, and just earned her MFA from the University of New Mexico this April. She is a literary arts activist, currently booking poets for "Church of Beethoven," and the author of three books of poetry, Red as a Lotus, Mortar & Pestle, and Dark Enough. A fourth book, The Relenting, is forthcoming with New Rivers Press (June 2010) and can be considered either a play or a poem scripted for two voices, rattler and woman. She'll be touring the play in the upcoming year, starting with a staged reading with Tricklock's Kevin Elder at 516 Arts in Albuquerque in June and then onward to Minnesota, LA, hopefully even to NY.

Thanks to Lisa for sharing her work with us here on the Tattooed Poets Project!

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