A collaboration with Terry Wolverton:
- Terry Wolverton asked me to send her four ‘poetry prompts’ so I did, including one by CA Conrad.
- Terry sent me four prompts, which were basically phrases.
- I sent her these responses: https://disarticulations2015.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/august-fevered-writing-sesshu-foster/
- In response to the previous 4 prompts she sent me these: https://disarticulations2015.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/august-fevered-writing-terry-wolverton/
- Using the exchanged language, we wrote these two poems:
For Terry Wolverton
by Sesshu Foster
burn down the world, because the beer in front of you sweats in its glass
because of a hot pastrami sandwich, pastrami with mustard
because of the glasses, the cars, everyone rushing somewhere
because of a TV and the announcer’s voice
because of the cat locked in the bedroom, because of anything, because of the trees
because of so many in cars rushing in fading twilight, enamored of darkness
burn down the world,
burn down the world
outside the world, everyone is okay, doing things they imagine
outside of the world, you dragged your intellect to mass graves and prison
outside of the world, anything is prayer, nobody practices at childhood
outside the world, those who entered the glinting pain and came out
outside the trees, those who entered the green, you and nobody else
outside the world, those who entered the trees and disappeared
outside the world, you and nobody else
in front of you, you and nobody else
I cover the floor in salt,
there you will find yourself
next to anyone, next to many men who die themselves
I cover the floor in fading twilight,
there you will find yourself
like a crack in your hand, because you are convinced,
because you are certain, next to poets and many who answer the press of time
I cover the floor in similes,
like similes of wire and reason, there you will find yourself
next to the TV of childhood and the announcer’s voice
let these reasons remind you of a handful of names,
a handful of days
HELL’S ZIP CODE
by Terry Wolverton
A letter carrier in Koreatown
dreams of women, bodies dark as tobacco
dreams of resistance, of granite and flood.
The hour is apocalyptic.
Money and fire are killing us.
Union Station decaying, no train of thoughts
will leave this afternoon, no great distance will
be covered, now the terminal is burning.
We sought a damp, vacuous sleep.
We awakened to slavery.
In Mexico City, NY, LA— we’re
rolling through markets of the colonizers
surrounded by dead, Eurocentric thinkers.
Where do we exit this head space?
Where is the clock forgotten?
Across this continent females and males no
longer couple, busy themselves annexing
the lonely minutes, but there’s no where to park.
We no longer see the other
across canyons of sentiment.
Spanish broom rises over the mountains, but
we can’t drive there anymore, no vehicle,
no gas. No place not covered in black asphalt.
What is your vision worth to you,
already dispelling in clouds?
It’s the cumulus that leaves me furious.
Is this a prelude to light, or are we like
the thin dogs that wander the pitted highway?
We flit within parameters;
got a ticket but can’t take flight.
Terry Wolverton has published several collections of poetry, including Shadow and Praise (2007), Embers: A Novel in Poetry (2003), Mystery Bruise (1999), and Black Slip (1992), which was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. Her novels include The Labrys Reunion (2009) and Bailey’s Beads (1996). Her memoir, Insurgent Muse: Life and Art at the Woman’s Building (2002), was chosen as one of the Best Books of the Year by the Los Angeles Times, won the Judy Grahn Award from Publishing Triangle, and was a finalist for the Lambda Book Award.
With novelist Robert Drake, she has co-edited numerous anthologies, including His: Brilliant New Fiction by Gay Writers (1995), Hers: Brilliant New Fiction by Lesbian Writers (1995), and Blood Whispers: LA Writers on AIDS (1991). She collaborated with choreographer Heidi Ducker and Collage Dance Theater on the performances subVersions and Under Eden.
Wolverton lives in Los Angeles, where she has taught in the Antioch University Los Angeles MFA Writing Program and Writers at Work.