Friday, August 31, 2012

Poem of the Week: Solmaz Sharif

Solmaz Sharif
Photo by: Arash Saedinia

Mess Hall   

Your knives tip down
in the dish rack
of the replica plantation home,
you wash hands

with soaps pressed into seahorses
and scallop shells white
to match your guest towels,
and, like an escargot fork,

you have found the dimensions
small enough to break
a man--
a wet rag,

a bullet on the back of the cup
the front
like a bishop or an armless knight
of the Ku Klux Klan

the silhouette
through your nighttime window
a quartet
plays a song you admire,

outside a ring of concertina wire
circles around a small collapse.
America, ignore the window and look at your lap:
even your dinner napkins are on fire.

-Solmaz Sharif    

Used by permission.

Previously appeared in conjunction with Craft and Folk Art Museum's "Ehren Tool: Production or Destruction" exhibit.   

Born in Istanbul to Iranian parents, Solmaz Sharif's first published poem, included in A World Between (George Braziller), was written at the age of 13. Since then, her work has appeared in jubilat, Gulf Coast, Boston ReviewDIAGRAM, and others. Between 2002-2006, Sharif studied and taught with June Jordan's Poetry for the People. She is a winner of the "Discovery"/Boston Review Poetry Prize, a former Poetry Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and will be a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University from 2012-2014.
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If you are interested in reading past poems of the week, feel free to visit the blog archive.    

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