(in celebration of 2015 (US) National Poetry Month)
I’ve been struggling to understand how it is that I only heard about Dionne Brand this year. I take pride in knowing some things but obviously not, because Brand escaped the Kinna net! Brand, a Canadian poet/essayist/novelist was born in Trinidad and Tobago. She has published ten collection of poetry, five novels and also a number of non-fiction. Her latest books are Ossuaries (poetry) and Love Enough (novel).
I passed some nights in hell,
thought of destroying myself,
then thought of destroying you.
Panicked, took an iron bird
on one dragon cloud,
and flew from summer to summer,
till tiring we landed
where demons shadows eat away at my sleep.
I walked mile and miles with a close friend,
listened for hours to street cars passing by,
talked rivers and rivers to find myself,
climbed twenty hills to take one breath.
I bought a painting,
wrote a verse,
devoured many books,
hung out with friends,
lived a whole year,
never once discovering
that you weren’t there.
– by Dionne Brand