Friday, March 02, 2007

Friday Poetry: Carolyn Forche

Carolyn Forché
The Colonel

What you have heard is true. I was in his house. His wife carried
a tray of coffee and sugar. His daughter filed her nails, his son went
out for the night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol on the
cushion beside him. The moon swung bare on its black cord over
the house. On the televison was a cop show. It was in English.
Broken bottles were embedded in the walls around the house to
scoop the kneecaps from a man's legs or cut his hands to lace. On
the windows there were gratings like those in liquor stores. We
had dinner, rack of lamb, good wine, a gold bell was on the table
for calling the maid. The maid brought green mangoes, salt, a type
of bread. I was asked how I enjoyed the country. There was a brief
commercial in Spanish. His wife took everything away. There was
some talk then of how difficult it had become to govern. The
parrot said hello on the terrace. The colonel told it to shut up, and
pushed himself from the table. My friend said to me with his eyes:
say nothing. The colonel returned with a sack used to bring
groceries home. He spilled many human ears onto the table. They
were like dried peach halves. There is no other way to say this. He
took one of them in his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into
a water glass. It came alive there. I am tired of fooling around he
said. As for the rights of anyone, tell your people they can go fuck
themselves. He swept the ears to the floor with his arm and held
the last of his wine in the air. Something for your poetry, no? he
said. Some of the ears on the floor caught this scrap of his voice.
Some of the ears on the floor were pressed to the ground.


At 3:22 PM, Blogger tyromaven said...

F*ck me.

Is she for real? Cause this sounds like the kind of stuff I let myself write when I'm imagining an ability to penetrate the membranes of politics that crush. So if she's for real about this, then I'm going to have to read all the things she's written, and if not, then I'm going to have to read a few things and see how much better an imagination she has than mine.

'n any case, um, thanks.

At 3:30 PM, Blogger tyromaven said...

I am officially blasted.

She is stone cold&warm for real.


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