5 Lanes to Purgatory

            for Raúl Zurita

the poet’s own
mutilated face
is the fleshy cover
of a guidebook you enter

air, sand, skin
the path

syphillization
doped us & duped us,
mislead and mislaid us

what Kurosawa’s Dreams
are passage to

infinitely gentle
infinitely suffering

do not turn away from
the hidden or the hideous

no place is
better or worse than
the mind in which it is perceived

the poet’s disobedient body
makes him sway
his curled right hand
his trembles

I look at my hands
and see the eyes of Victor Jara

 

John Landry

About John Landry

John Landry served his birthplace, New Bedford, Massachusetts, as poet laureate (2007-2010). He was a contributing editor to the 50th anniversary anthology of San Francisco's historic Beatitude. His book, who will prune the plum tree when i'm gone / quien va a podar los ciruelos cuando me vaya, was published in 2010 by Editorial Cuneta in Santiago, Chile. He read at the Library of Congress at the invitation of Gwendolyn Brooks. His work has appeared in Amerarcana, Shared Light, Istanbul Literary Review, Fresh Broth, Elective Affinities, Cape Cod Poetry Review, Perfume River Poetry Review, Shared Light, Caesura. Portrait photo by AD Winans.
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