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20 janvier 2009 2 20 /01 /janvier /2009 11:47

born from clay

we are molded like kindergarten play-dough letters

taught to piece together this puzzling world with language


true story:

a fifth grade class in an Ann Arbor school

asked to come up with the definition of “state”

brainstormed four words:

land, people, government,




news flash:

Congress and Commander in Chief

approve a 700 mile wall

between the U.S. and Mexico

us and them

those whose tongues cannot embody the way we manifest 

n’ abide by the rules of the empty complex

we’re not much for open spaces


gelatin brains smushed into right angles

minds coded library shelf defined

like property lines divide

what’s mine is mine

how greedy can one people be?

why can’t they be content with where they be?

and leave us in peace to dig trenches in sandboxes  


there are manmade canyons too wide to yell over

it is the space between that leaves us empty

the distance that snares us blind

it is a learned behavior

in social studies, we read 500 years of history condensed into 500 words

drew pictures of all the earth’s people with four colors of crayon

were taught that there was one right answer

that definitions are written in stone

the world split in two: fairytale good and evil


this is for the 12 million mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons

who live every day trying to cloak themselves invisible

fretting over empty spaces on school permission slips and hospital bills

hiding in kitchens and janitor closets

dressing in standard uniforms to blend in


this is for my Chicano friend who stumbles on Shakespearean slang

falls back into questioning

what good is a diploma if you can’t submit it to a college or official job

what does a high school education matter

to a teenager who believes

he will always be the ‘Indian in the Cupboard’

the Mexican in the dishroom?


this is for every couple

whose youngest child is the only member of the family

with a social security number

for the despair in knowing that no matter what country you are in

you will always have to face      foreigner


we are one world

with parts pitted against each other

likes cherries colliding

how sweet it’d be to be jam                                                                                    

be we are jammed

our mouths programmed sour


we are a melting pot of skin and stories

that is getting too picante

so now we’re scrambling for the lid


in lunchrooms, we were taught not to cut in line

or take things that didn’t belong to us


in history, we were taught about the gold rush

but never told that it began ten days after the U.S. stole that land from Mexico

we were taught to close doors behind us during fire drills

but we’re ignoring the students left behind to the blaze

forgetting to remember who has matchbooks

hidden under the skeletons in their walk-in closets


in science, we were taught that wind and water can reshape stone

and so i too know that the breath and spit that make up my voice

can chisel new meanings


true story:

we are building a seven hundred mile metaphor

a pin to keep a shrieking tire from deflating


it is blood-like hot in the desert

there is a rusty red sedan baking lifeless in the sun

an old man struggles it forward towards a line in the dirt

his gas tank empty

as the space between

a wide open wasteland

closed like a trap



-Coert Ambrosino



J'ai rencontré Coert lors de la dernière édition de LEAF. J'ai trouvé intéressant de vous faire connaitre un poète contemporain.

Pour ceux qui le souhaitent, je tiens à leur disposition un essai de traduction...


Plus d'images sur le mur : link




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