the poetry that matters

Maxine Gadd

Maxine Gadd is the author of numerous books of poetry, among them Lost Language (Coach House, 1982), Fire in the Cove (m(O)ther Tongue, 2001), and most recently, Backup to Babylon (New Star, 2006), which was a poetry finalist in the 2007 BC Book Prizes.



For 2010

each word is my own

the possession of others

the old women came out of the November rain
into the elevator in our home
AND  touched my bare arm
amazed at the heat
AND they spoke words I did not know
but I knew what they were saying
AND I wailed in the London subway
in the Second World War
I was three
AND the Others smiled at me
to defuse the long bomb of horror

the blind alleys
of Borge and Bowles
opened their  atoms in stoned  Medinas
AND the gods came and died in their words
in the Xora,  the empty spaces for the words
of Di Prima AND Kristeva AND
the Xora, the wombs in the arms
of the handsome old men
held their beautiful dread,
AND it will die and be reborn
the emptiness in the mind of the forgotten future
AND it is all here  in the empty streets of a city teeming rain anywhere

AND on the bus hurling through black  tunnel of night on the empty  prairies
the God came and told me to kill the stranger beside me
AND take communion with his flesh and his blood
AND the horror of the others as i held up his empty head
the emptiness of mind of the beautiful old men
laughing in horror in their endless movies
smiling their claim for their future end

here were are at the four illuminated  corners
of everything anywhere where we stand with the girls waiting and wandering anywhere
smiling in the light  of the night in the rain
everywhere AND the dead heat of our words
AND the disappearing girls found the ground floating away from their feet
their bare heat unspoken in the empty womb of their lost future
their fame and their pain shining in the dead light of a street anywhere
the young men are dragged into the empty battles everywhere powder AND lead AND uranium
their  futures
AND the handsome old men with their dead teeth eat the lush poverty of the boys on the street
the fruit of the womb of  old MAN pLATO'S gODLESS XORA, THE SPACE WHERE THE WORD



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