The Dying Rebel
We cut a rose stem only if the flower is as red
as the heart that redeems it. The browned ones
have no scent, dry aging skin. How quickly
am I losing scent? When I look in the mirror—
I never see an aging man, but I smell the unfamiliar.
I don’t see my father, an old man when I was born,
his white mane, a sonnet in itself. I am never sure
I could watch myself cross ahead of anyone.
I’m not that type of poem. Easier to say, there
are too many poets and there aren’t enough rebels.
Easier to say, roses are best at their full reddest bloom.
(Privilege, you are a white noise.) I am convinced
that my life is neither an offering to the divine,
or its gift. I am best at writing truths with my right
hand, while the other raises into a fist.
#Notes on the Butterfly Effect
-Dear Theocrat, there is human err and there is you,
all knowing, all seeing, Moses by command,
Abraham by vision, Noah by hallucination.
-Dear Magister mundi sum, everything
is beneath you: us, me, all flat earth colors,
wild fires made of your carbon footprint.
-Dear Skeptic, God is your Theory of Everything
(who is Dirac?). Singularity, entanglement
(spooky, indeed!). God is all your finch’s beaks.
-Dear Fanatic, invoke Arabic words for heart:
Qalb, Fu’aad, Sadr. Fifty-two texts survived
Nag Hammadi, enough echoes to mimic
a red red rose and begin the Butterfly Effect
from a single flap of wings to our True North.
Bino A. Realuyo is the author of The Gods We Worship Live Next Door, winner of the 2005 Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry, as well as The Umbrella Country. These two poems are from his completed manuscript #TheRebelSonnets, and others from this collection have, or will, be published in issues of The Common, The Georgia Review, Salamander, North American Review, New American Writing, Missouri Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, and ZYZZYVA. The Irish band U2 has also featured his poetry in their 30th anniversary Joshua Tree Concert Tour in Manila. A graduate of Harvard University, he lives in New York City and works as an adult educator and immigrant rights activist.
Jan Price is not interested in drawing, painting, or soft sculpture unless they depict people. She sells her paintings at art shows; her art/greeting cards, through gift shops; and her art often appears in poetry journals. Jan also includes her art in self-created poetry books which she leaves on seats in parks, cinemas, train stations, cafes, libraries, and book-exchange venues. One of her latest projects includes photographing and painting people through water running down glass. Jan also studies Thought Switching to help people with depression.