Islands of Dogs: A Collection of Poetry and Haiku about Mexico City


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More by Martín Espada

Listen to the bell in a city where cannons from the armies of the Great War sank into molten metal bubbling like a vat of chocolate, and the many mouths that once spoke the tongue of smoke form the one mouth of a bell that says: I was born of cannons, but now I sing of a world where cannons melt into bells.

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Listen to the bells in a town with a flagpole on Main Street, a rooster weathervane keeping watch atop the Meeting House, the congregation gathering to sing in times of great silence. Here the bells rock their heads of bronze as if to say: Melt the bullets into bells, melt the bullets into bells. Here the bells raise their heavy heads as if to say: Melt the cannons into bells, melt the cannons into bells.

Here the bells sing of a world where weapons crumble deep in the earth, and no one remembers where they were buried. Now the bells pass the word at midnight in the ancient language of bronze, from bell to bell, like ships smuggling news of liberation from island to island, the song rippling through the clouds. Now the bells chime like the muscle beating in every chest, heal the cracks in the bell of every face listening to the bells. The chimes heal the cracks in the bell of the moon. The chimes heal the cracks in the bell of the world.

Praise the cook with the shaven head and a tattoo on his shoulder that said Oye , a blue-eyed Puerto Rican with people from Fajardo, the harbor of pirates centuries ago. Praise the lighthouse in Fajardo, candle glimmering white to worship the dark saint of the sea.

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Praise the cook's yellow Pirates cap worn in the name of Roberto Clemente, his plane that flamed into the ocean loaded with cans for Nicaragua, for all the mouths chewing the ash of earthquakes. Praise the kitchen radio, dial clicked even before the dial on the oven, so that music and Spanish rose before bread. Praise the bread.


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Praise Manhattan from a hundred and seven flights up, like Atlantis glimpsed through the windows of an ancient aquarium. Praise the kitchen in the morning, where the gas burned blue on every stove and exhaust fans fired their diminutive propellers, hands cracked eggs with quick thumbs or sliced open cartons to build an altar of cans.

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Praise the busboy's music, the chime-chime of his dishes and silverware in the tub. Praise the dish-dog, the dishwasher who worked that morning because another dishwasher could not stop coughing, or because he needed overtime to pile the sacks of rice and beans for a family floating away on some Caribbean island plagued by frogs.

Praise the waitress who heard the radio in the kitchen and sang to herself about a man gone. After the thunder wilder than thunder, after the booming ice storm of glass from the great windows, after the radio stopped singing like a tree full of terrified frogs, after night burst the dam of day and flooded the kitchen, for a time the stoves glowed in darkness like the lighthouse in Fajardo, like a cook's soul. Soul I say, even if the dead cannot tell us about the bristles of God's beard because God has no face, soul I say, to name the smoke-beings flung in constellations across the night sky of this city and cities to come.

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Alabanza I say, even if God has no face. When the war began, from Manhattan to Kabul two constellations of smoke rose and drifted to each other, mingling in icy air, and one said with an Afghan tongue: Teach me to dance. We have no music here. And the other said with a Spanish tongue: I will teach you.

Music is all we have. Academy of American Poets Educator Newsletter. Teach This Poem. Follow Us. Find Poets. Read Stanza. Jobs for Poets.

Materials for Teachers. The Walt Whitman Award. James Laughlin Award. In he was Writer-in- Residence at the B. Whiting Library in Rome.

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She lives in the U. She has also been published in U. Germany and Japan. Along with a recent volume of poetry called Haymaking , he has been published in various magazines in Australia, U. She began writing in and her poems have been published in literary magazines and anthologies in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. She has worked as a secondary teacher, taxi driver, journalist, sub-editor, senior editor, and is currently a full-time instructional designer at Deakin University.

The four poems appearing in this issue of famous reporter are from a manuscript Ray is currently working on entitled The Barrier Range , drawing on the exploits of the explorers Charles Sturt, and Burke and Wills. His first haiku book, A rosebush grabs my sleeve, will be published by Flat Chat Press in He is a winner of the Suruga Baika Haiku Award His published works includes haiku and longer poems, book reviews and fiction, and have appeared in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Scotland, England, Belgium and Bulgaria.

He has had four books of poetry published, the last being Shadow Behind the Heart His published fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, photos, etc. He is haibun editor for Simply Haiku. He writes Japanese forms of poetry in English and is published across the world in various media. Websites www.

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He lives in Hobart. Despite his seven collections, he prefers to publish widely in magazines and newspapers.

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He was awarded the Barbara Hanrahan Fellowship He has had poems and essays published in a number of journals including Island, Heat and The Age. She's worked at various jobs both in Italy and Australia. For the past 12 years she has dedicated herself to writing short fiction and poetry. He lives in Adelaide. Her first published haiku appeared in Famous Reporter, but since then others have been published in various journals, anthologies and ezines. Sue now lives in Melbourne with her family.

JOHN WEST works full time as a nurse in a large rehabilitation hospital in Melbourne and writes many poems about people he meets there although his family is an even more important source of material.

Islands of Dogs: A Collection of Poetry and Haiku about Mexico City Islands of Dogs: A Collection of Poetry and Haiku about Mexico City
Islands of Dogs: A Collection of Poetry and Haiku about Mexico City Islands of Dogs: A Collection of Poetry and Haiku about Mexico City
Islands of Dogs: A Collection of Poetry and Haiku about Mexico City Islands of Dogs: A Collection of Poetry and Haiku about Mexico City
Islands of Dogs: A Collection of Poetry and Haiku about Mexico City Islands of Dogs: A Collection of Poetry and Haiku about Mexico City
Islands of Dogs: A Collection of Poetry and Haiku about Mexico City Islands of Dogs: A Collection of Poetry and Haiku about Mexico City
Islands of Dogs: A Collection of Poetry and Haiku about Mexico City Islands of Dogs: A Collection of Poetry and Haiku about Mexico City
Islands of Dogs: A Collection of Poetry and Haiku about Mexico City Islands of Dogs: A Collection of Poetry and Haiku about Mexico City

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