Sample Poems

I Am. . . Home

  by Shane Benjamin

I am from balmy breezes and tamarind trees
from conch shells and potcakes howling
to the sound of rake and scrape
I am from the bicameral legislature
under the statues of Columbus and Victoria
a reminder that oppression always is stalking
tasting like gooseberries that sour the palate
but replenishes spit.

I am from the burning bush,
the liturgical bishop whose long robes
I remember holding as a page boy
as if they were my own.

I am from mommy and daddy
from brothers 8 and sisters 3
I’m from the Tract and the public school,
from “the Priory” and “the Monastery.”

I’m from Bain Town and Over-the-Hill
cracking a mischievous smile erupting
from troubling inquisitiveness
that wanders from right to center then left
into libraries and detentions and ganja fields. . . then up. . .
up skirts and into shady bars. . . waiting. . .
and waiting to pass through the hole-in-the-wall
in the middle of the night
when she turns off her room light
which forestalls yet betrays my arrival.

I’m from the Cinema and the Savoy,
the Capitol and the Dundas and the Doubloon
Son-et-Lumiere and Balls Alley, Centreville and Saunders Beach
where the salted air mingles with the waft of piss
from the cases of consumed Becks by Junkanoo drummers,
cowbellers, saw scrapers, and buglers who massage my ears
and jack my spirit.

 


 

DOMINION

  by Andrea Jurjević

 

tonight the sea is inky and fragrant
and still thousands of miles away

it’s a pair of blue lips gathered beneath
the dominion of the watchful sky

your clothes are soaked in beer
and now it’s interesting to watch

my knickers stretched over your rump
the front fabric stretched in a big yawn

one of us is always first to get naked
the other wears desire like the dusting

of confectioner’s sugar brushed off
the chest into the dark inlet of the mouth