the poetry that matters

MJ Gette

MJ Gette is currently living in Panajachel, Guatemala, where she writes articles and nonfiction narratives for an NGO's website. Her work has appeared in Red Weather, Northern Eclecta, and Lovechild. She won the 2008 Red Weather Poetry Prize. One of her poems was selected to be interpreted sculpturally throughout a semester-long Architecture course. She has self-published two books of poetry and a novella, as well as a book of photos and narratives of Guatemalan Ancianos (elderly.) Some of her work can be found on her website: www.mjgette.com


To the governing body—



Yours truly, a commensurate outlet

Of dreamscape: where you escaped


My body—of water—proportioned


In the ebb & flow, the season’s sleep

-ing with the man-of-my-make


Believe. From the acres

Staked by wanton discovery


Dissolved a desert, whose oasis

Better reflected a reality (I came to


Be) known as doubt & waiting

-room politics. Looking back


Is it any wonder

The crops didn’t grow

From the land

Reserved for us?


& which supplanted us

With a symbol of a given grinding




-trodden. Plz sr. cane I

Haf mor maiz—


(Doubt is a dry spell in a place

Bent out of shape by rain.)


A comfort-zone prone

To excess: after drought, drowning


In your irrigated fields, bled dry


—thirsty & unusually affected

with loads too heavy to carry—


You carry your crop

Like a land bridge

Between your body

& my d(r)ying one.


Giving the dehydrated staple

 (I came to



Be) known as waking up


Approximate to you.


After drought, drowning

Out my voice & t-



The weather is a miss

-calculation of the time


Before the sand runs out

Into the soil

& destroys everything.

RIPTIDE (wiki:) the conflict of elements.

“In reality the current is strongest at the surface. The strongest surface dampens incoming waves, leading to the illusion of a calm part of sea, which may lure swimmers into the area.”

A woman cd enter a waters two dimensions, thinking she will avoid its sweet-talk.

A man cd be sd to be the vindication of an event, like sound entering the burnt space after a lightning strike, when he approaches the woman.

She declines his offer to love her: she abjures a moment from the lake of loneliness, as one of freedom.

To be free is to be free of yr want of freedom; desire as beheld by lampshade, as artificial lighting.

Caught on the beach, a turtle struggles to sift through the contents of a kind of hourglass.

You tell someone drowning that you will let him drown & this is the charged idea that someone loves you, & yr voice is

Electric; a swimmer leaves you, you are left floating on a riptide.

One shape resists the invitation of another to be part of it.

The more you fight a current, the more exhausted yr consequence.

What is freer than the hoard of yr reality as it lies incongruent to another?

The tide is the source of the drama of no love

Then two, like a flood disrupting the phases of the moon.

Articulating truth, where one had once been a liar, is both cruel and unusual.

As in a dream: elements fight to make sense in totality.

I place you from one context to another & the feeling drowns.

When you return, we enter the old space again, like surfacing fish in water youve electrocuted.

Displacement is the geometry of a ruin. Where to put living a moment if it must always be measured against memory?

A glass suggests the stem you placed in it is not entirely cut off by the water.

You behold the expression of what only appears broken, of what only appears to be the smooth reflection of storm, of what is brewing both above and beneath you.



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                                                                                                                April 15, 2013