During the month of February, Writing for Peace commemorates the Tenth Anniversary of Poets Against the War with Daily PAW Posts from a host of contributors.
*Parental Guidance Warning –The poets featured during our February Daily PAW Posts write of war and its effect on the human heart. Writing for Peace has not censored these poems, and we encourage parents to review the content before sharing them with children.
To purchase a copy of POETS AGAINST THE WAR from Powell’s independent bookstore, click here.
What We Did Instead
by Jennifer Boyden
I have a theory about my husband’s penis, which is that if we had installed a device under our bed and programmed it to a thrust- activated movement sensor to trigger a voice which cried “war, war, war”—if we’d done that ten years ago, we wouldn’t have our daughter now.
My husband, who has one heart that shines on the table of all possible hearts, would have had to fold up his penis and put it away until the sensor broke or we forced ourselves to pretend that the word war was just another word for shake your ass, or hold it there, or next time let’s eat chicken with our fingers while we do this, or perhaps a word for boring sexy. I noticed in the paper how the runway models were thin again
and blackeyed in clothing that wouldn’t get stolen in a refugee camp. I think it means something
that lately when I put on my shoes I think: do these work for fleeing a homeland? / How easy would it be to steal them off my exhausted feet? Lately, my boots lace to the knees.
When she was three my daughter asked me if she would ever know war in her heart. That was about four years after we didn’t install the sensor machine.
What we did instead was go to Minnesota in the middle of winter where it was so cold the fish we pulled up through the ice holes were green logs with eyes. We cut them open and threw their guts at winter where the birds ate them. We were there to visit my family, all just in from the frozen lake of the blue-green fish, and I was a few beers down with an egg on its way and for a moment as I stood with my husband among my people who were breading the fish and humming and slapping their legs by the fire, there was no war anywhere. I mean this is what we had at that moment:
food, fire, a game on the wood table where people pressed buzzers and flipped the timer, laughing. We turned away
to head upstairs to the room we shared. We closed the door. We lay down where no one had thought to install the machine, and we made one child and later had to open her slowly so the world could enter bit by bit, and the world was sharp where she was best.
The retail index reveals there is something sexy about how the models are nearly dead with hunger.
In our bed, we read books and hear a voice that, if we turn our heads properly, sounds like it’s calling us to sleep.
Jennifer Boyden’s new book, The Declarable Future (winner of the Four Lakes Poetry Prize), was just released by University of Wisconsin Press. Her previous collection, The Mouths of Grazing Things, won the Brittingham Prize for Poetry in 2010. She recently returned from a year of teaching creative writing and ecopoetry at Soochow University in China. Boyden is a poet, teacher, and current writer-in-residence at Grass Mountain in Oregon. Her work has been recognized with the PEN Northwest Wilderness Writing Award, an Artists Trust Grant, and can be found in a variety of literary journals.
Check out her website here.
February Writing for Peace News:
All during the month of February, Writing for Peace is commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of Poets Against the War with a Daily PAW Post. If you are interested in arranging a reading this month in honor of Poets Against the War, please contact us with the details at email@example.com, and we will be happy to share your information on our site.
Richard Krawiec is the founder of Jacar Press, A Community active Press dedicated to paying writers and working in under-served communities and has worked extensively with people in homeless shelters, women’s shelters, prisons, literacy classes, and community sites, teaching writing. Richard’s second book of poems, She Hands me the Razor, (title poem nominated for a Pushcart Prize) was published by Press 53. It was one of 17 finalists for a SIBA Award.
To learn more about Richard Krawiec, check out his page here.
2013 Young Writers Contest
Contest Deadline is March 1st! The Writing for Peace Young Writers Contest is in full swing, with entries coming in from all over the globe. The contest is open to writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, for ages 13 to 19. Spread the word to young writers everywhere! You’ll find contest guidelines here.
DoveTales, An International Journal of the Arts
The first issue of DoveTales will be released this month, featuring poets, writers, artists and photographers from all over the world. We are also looking forward to seeing the winners of our 2012 Young Writers Contest in print. Watch our posts for news of the journal’s release. The new submission guidelines will go up on March 1st. Thank you for your support!
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