Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Poem of the Week: Lauren K. Alleyne


Here is the night snarled with stars, here is the smile
full of teeth. Here is the bloom of desire, its scent swift
entering everything. Here are the arms, the legs, the heady
nectar of lips; here is nipple erupting against the thicketed
chest. Here is earlobe and thigh, the sharp seduction of nails.
Here is naked. Here, light by an exploring moon. Here is heat
making a new planet of your heart, riding your blood like victory.
Here is the old road you have longed and longed to travel,
18. It hisses your name. Its breath is smoke and salt; it stings
your throat like a scream. Here is the trembling gate, and yet
you want to turn back, no, run back, to before, which is still now,
or could be, if you turn in time and you do, but here are the knots
fists make of fingers, the silence one tongue can shackle to another,
the willful iron of belly and bone. Here is no, and no, and no
answer. Here, shove and bite splinter like so much kindling.
Here is his laughter sparking mad— jackal, wildebeest, wolf.
Here is fire and fire and fire. Skins of flame. Walls of flame.
There is no turning here, 18. Here you learn how to burn.

-Lauren K. Alleyne

Used by permission.

Lauren K. Alleyne is a native of Trinidad and Tobago. Her work has been awarded prizes such as the 2003 Atlantic Monthly Student Poetry Prize, the Robert Chasen Graduate Poetry Prize at Cornell, an International Publication Prize from The Atlanta Review, and honorable mention in the 2009 Reginald Shepherd Memorial Poetry Prize and the 2003 Gival Press Tri-Language Poetry Contest. She has been published in journals such as Black Arts Quarterly, The Caribbean Writer, The Belleview Literary Review, and Crab Orchard Review among others, as well as in the anthologies Growing Up Girl and Gathering Ground. She is co-editor of From the Heart of Brooklyn, and author of Dawn In The Kaatskills, a chapbook. She is currently an Assistant Professor of English and the Poet-in-Residence at the University of Dubuque.

Alleyne attended Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation and Witness 2008 and 2010.

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