Friday, October 31, 2014

Poem of the Week: Abdul Ali


My father and I run into each other at the edge of Lower Manhattan,

                            World Trade Center, where there's a movie house.


                    We tiptoe down the slope, making our way to our seats.

We don't exchange pleasantries. Cinque is stolen from his native land.

         A body of water separates Cinque from his home.

                      We have front row seats inside the belly of the ship,

History so close it hums.

                    the rush of water      now spilling in my lap.

I close my eyes, blink--

          water breaking through the screen,  water rising from the floor,

                         how the past revolts against the present.

  I lift both feet.                 We're in this   together,

our own Amistad        headed somewhere,

                    a meeting place      captive.


Used with permission.

Abdul Ali is the author of Trouble Sleeping which won the 2014 New Issues Poetry Prize and teaches at Towson University. His poems and art criticism have appeared n GargoyleGathering of TribesNew Contrast (South Africa), The Atlantic, and the anthology, Full Moon on K Street, among other publications. He has received grants, awards, and fellowships from The DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities, American University, and the Mt. Vernon Poetry Festival at George Washington University. He is a member of the board of directors of the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Ali was also an organizer for the second Split This Rock festival.


The Poetry Contest Deadline Is Tomorrow!!!

Contest judge this year is the inimitable Natalie Diaz, author of When My Brother Was an Aztec (Copper Canyon Press, 2012). Diaz has been honored with the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, the Louis Untermeyer Scholarship in Poetry from Bread Loaf, the Narrative Poetry Prize, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. She was a featured poet at the 2014 Split This Rock Poetry Festival.

First prize $500, second and third prizes $250 each.

Sam Taylor is very kindly offering a copy of Nude Descending an Empire for up to three poets selected for honorable mentions in this, the 8th annual Split This Rock Poetry Contest.

For contest details and to submit your poems of provocation and witness, visit our website here

Contest Deadline: November 1st, 2014
at 11:59 pm!!!


Please feel free to forward Split This Rock Poem of the Week widely. We just ask you to include all of the information in this email, including this request. Thanks!If you are interested in reading past poems of the week, feel free to visit the blog archive.  

1 comment:

AR-T said...

Congrats on the Poem-a-Day publication! Tuesday is my workweek Monday. It was a real treat to read your poem first thing this morning, first thing this week. Robert Hayden is one of my literary heroes, so thanks for the tribute.