We honor poet Meena Alexander 1951-2018 (Issue 3)
“The poem is an invention that exists in spite of history,” she said. “Most of the forces in our ordinary lives as we live them now conspire against the making of a poem. There might be some space for the published poem, but not for its creation: No ritualized space is given where one is allowed to sit and brood.”
Plot of Tiger Lilies (an excerpt)
When Mirza Ghalib saw a bathhouse keeper
Burnt by passion,
A brown man with bits of dirt
On his face and thighs,
He knew that the sun had to be sucked
Into the leaf of his manuscript—
So that in unremitting light
The human stain would pour straight into soil
And blunt rock.
I am dying into my own life—he wrote—
There is no help for this.
Only music without words.
My body is growing old
And so I need to remember
This body, this flesh.
Our mission is to discover poetry, art, and literary reviews/essays that raise the hair on our arms, therefore our consciousness; Poetry that excites with passion, syntax, and craft; Art that remains an image in one’s eye. As poets living in Taos, New Mexico, U.S., amid astounding horizontal beauty of mesas, vertical allure of mountains, we are searching too for splendor; intricate and singing. Our vision is wide and inviting to both experimental and formal poetry, photography, visual art, sculpture, reviews and essays.
In this Issue 11, our seventh year, as we have done in prior issues, we highlight New Mexico poets, some of whom were suggested to us by our guest editor, poet Gary Worth-Moody. In addition, we offer poets from the states of California, Massachusetts, Missouri, Colorado, Iowa, Texas, Ohio, Indiana, New York, Kentucky, Utah, and the countries of Spain, Russia, and Mongolia with translations. Also, in the Essay section we have highlighted three new books of poetry by Sherwin Bitsui, Blas Falconer, and Juan Morales. An in-depth interview by co-editor Catherine Strisik with Taos’ Poet Laureate, Sawnie Morris is included, as well as an essay, “Silence in Poetry,” by Kristina Marie Darling. Our featured artists are sculptor, potter, painter, and jeweler Jeralyn Lujan-Lucero from Taos Pueblo, and Taos photographer, Jim O’Donnell’s “street photography” of Cuba.
Seshat, whose image introduces the journal, is the Ancient Egyptian goddess of wisdom, knowledge, and writing. She was known by the epithet “Mistress of the House of Books” because she looked after the library of the gods and was the patron of all earthly libraries. She was also patron of all forms of writing.
Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art is a non-profit organization. Your continued tax-deductible contributions are greatly appreciated.