Grace Cavalieri’s new book is WITH (Somondoco Press 2016.) She’s the author of several books and produced plays. The most recent play, “Anna Nicole: Blonde Glory.” (Theatre for the New City, NYC 2012.) She celebrates 39 years on public radio with “The Poet and The Poem” now recorded at The Library of Congress. Grace’s career includes a co-founder of WPFW-FM; after that, Assoc. Director for Children’s Programming, PBS; and then a Senior Media Program Officer, NEH. She’s the founder of two poetry presses in DC, still thriving, and is presently the poetry columnist for The Washington Independent Review of Books. Grace Cavalieri was awarded the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from WASH INDEP REVIEW. She received the George Garrett Award from AWP for Service to literature, the Allen Ginsberg, Paterson Award, Bordighera, and Columbia Poetry Awards, A Pen Fiction Award, plus CPB’s Silver Medal.
Making Tortillas Shaped Like Your Heart
Carve some starved corn
out from the Harvest moon
and throw in some wild flowers—
Chain the bowl to the arch of wind
then sleep against the wall
until the perfect date to bake—
Turn and whirl in a wide wide skirt
and stir the spoon as you go –
Pour heavily into the beggar’s bowl
then donate yourself to the sun.
WHAT THE PSYCHIC SAID
“Did you know last life time you were a Mexican girl?
I see you sitting against a white wall with sun barreling down
dazzling your shoulders. No trees anywhere.
You’re staring out, as if from a vacuum, seeking, I don’t know what.
Beside you, on the ground, a harness,
a thin horse in the distance eating pockets of grass.
No one can trespass here.
This is the landowner’s yard.
The distance . . . the distance . . . I see a Mill. Can you
Remember? How thirsty you were? It’s rotting,
no water runs, but for a yellow stream.
How is it you were fluent? Perhaps by reading and writing
behind the barn with Big Papa?
Look at your dark eyes. No respite from the day ahead,
but for now you sit against the wall, hot with noontime.
Perhaps you’re thinking of the Orient, a book you’ve read over
and over. The pictures. Oh the pictures.
Your eyes, wide, you wipe your face with your skirt.
Don’t you realize that you came from labor? The fields?
Now you know why—this lifetime—why, you cannot rest—
How you search for beauty? Why you can’t stop dreaming of China.”