Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jewelle Gomez: National Poetry Month

Jewelle Gomez, author, poet, critic, and activist also has the honor of being the President of the San Francisco Public Library Commission.  Gomez is the author of seven books, including the Lambda Literary Award winning novel The Gilda Stories. This novel, which has been in print since 1991 and reframes the traditional vampire mythology, taking a lesbian feminist perspective, is an adventure about an escaped slave who comes of age over two hundred years.  Gomez has been the executive director of the Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives at San Francisco State University, she was also the director of Cultural Equity Grants at the San Francisco Arts Commission and the director of the Literature Program for the New York State Council on the Arts.  I am honored to highlight the work of such a fine artist and friend of libraries. 

Flamingoes and Bears

Flamingos and bears
meet secretly
on odd street corners.
Horses and chickens
elephants and geese
looked shocked and appalled.

Ostriches dont look at all.

Bear and flamingo
ignore greedy gazes
from disgruntled parents
and frightened sly weasels
who hiss
as the couple
strolls by.

Chance brought them here
from forest and sea,
but science won't agree
bears and flamingoes
learned how simple
building a nest
in a den can be.

Now flamingo and bear
sleep forever entwined
in all sorts of climes
be it rainy or snowy or sunny,
happy to know
there's room in this world
for a bear who likes palm trees

and a bird who loves honey.

from: Flamingoes & Bears : poems
Jewelle Gomez

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