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Wayne's photos and poems in this issue

Winter 2002


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These poems are from From the Lake, Love

Banira Giri Banira Giri


Your full force was first raised against me

Let this spear-tipped stream flow onů
the gullies of my eyes greening your fields
Let this crop of pain ripen,
this harvest ripening from wounds

You and I? Let's
enjoin ourselves in friendship

          How engaging!

Before dark where the forked road joins I ran into you
Before I knew what was happening, you raped me
Then and there, witness of this cruel intimacy,
drops of virgin blood spread on the gravel of the crossroads
like an unclaimed corpse

At each moment
every day
be it morning or night
every minute
coming & going time & again
those stains return to me
my memory of you


From the outset
          your every thrust
blazed as fire,
          tore through the skin as thorns do,
pierced as a blade,
          appeared as the night of the dark moon

But these days
          your every stroke,
a mere touch,
          and as for my self
I've become
          the oven that contains the flame,
the bush that raises up thorns,
          the sheath that holds the blade,
fangs for the cobra's deadly poison,
          darkness of the night that swallows the moon

Like a tigress tamed in the circus,
a female snake soothed by the charmer's tune,
wound, so quickly was I transformed in you

Now you and I
          have become nail & flesh,
miser and money,
          footpath and footsole

Tread upon me with all your thieves & robbers
For this is certain: you'll tire, not me!

Let the variegated wishes for life germinating in me
be winnowed by your stormy gusts. Finish it! Destroy!
Wound! Maul and smother me
Lick me with your slathering flames
For I convert your force I'm hardened to it

Where you store your weaponry of thrust and violation,
I burrow and hide, grazed from all sides by your firing guns
Flame-burst upon flame-burst everywhere in every corner

But it is surely so, violator
          Violation! tearing your ears, listen

Your armory will be emptied —I will not
your armory will be emptied —I will not

The Chant Freedom!

Temple free me
from the sounds of bell and conch
sky free me
from electric bolts
tree free me
from bent and curving branches
palm free me
from fate's tangled lines
street free me
from footsteps' heavy fall
love free me
from the need to fuck
river free me
from force and sounds
sound free me
from needless susurration
war free me
from machismo's claims
peace free me
from necessary sacrifice
whisky free me
from nettled irritation
property free me
from a childless couple's store of treasure
day free me
from the sun's hoofed gallop
night free me
from the owl's eyes
nation free me
from tyrant's statues
world free me
from the poisoned tipped stakes of your borders
life free me
from always hastening
death free me
from never-ending emptiness
my cherished poem free me
from meaningless letters
Hey, word that goes by the name “Freedom
free me from the honesty and depths of your letters words and meanings

Wayne Amtzis
Translated by Wayne Amtzis with the author