a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Section 4

Wesley Rothman


Wesley Rothman

What is Given, What is Done

What Is Given, What Is Done • Inheritance is a rifle We accept with little Consideration. With Nostalgia, reverence For the life had, we Will keep the past Thriving. We will Care for the barrel, Brush the bolt & firing Pin, keep the stock’s Memory of holding. Every surface we deem Holy; every flaw we Make shine. We man The safety, the trigger, & climb into the chamber. You make my aerodynamics Unforgettable, ancestors, Shape me sharp, file me & tip me with mercury. O, what tradition bores — • If I become a hand palm Flat & face-up If I kneel At the feet of the wounded Mangled defiled generations If I kiss the earth-bound Bodies open my mouth You make my aerodynamics Unforgettable, ancestors, Shape me sharp, file me & tip me with mercury. O, what tradition bores — • If I become a hand palm Flat & face-up If I kneel At the feet of the wounded Mangled defiled generations If I kiss the earth-bound Bodies open my mouth For the spirits unending If I exalt the colorful spectrum Of woven threads fierce Muscle of every body Tightening in thrall & jubilation If we smelt The metal repurpose wood Into gift If we wrap danced Legs & blend our sweat breathe Breath not our body’s If we Melt our lips with another’s song —

Wesley Rothman’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Crab Orchard Review, Harvard Review, Mississippi Review, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Vinyl, Waxwing, and the Poets on Growth Anthology, among other venues. His criticism has been featured by Callaloo, Boston Review, American Microreviews and Interviews, and Rain Taxi Review of Books. He has served Copper Canyon Press, Ploughshares, Narrative, Salamander, and Tupelo Quarterly, and teaches writing and cultural literatures throughout Boston. Recent honors include Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations, a Vermont Studio Center fellowship, and finalist standing for the Emory Poetry Fellowship and 49th Parallel Poetry Prize. His first full manuscript, SUBWOOFER, was a finalist for the Crab Orchard Poetry Series Open and First Book Competitions. Find more: wesleyrothman.wordpress.com
 

Other works by Wesley Rothman

  • Reimagine Everything Differently May 2016

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