a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
Normally, I don’t aspire to trading in slogans
screened across T-shirts or embroidered on pillows.
I do like: PADDLE FASTER, I HEAR BANJOS
and UNLESS YOU ARE THE LEAD DOG,
THE SCENERY NEVER CHANGES
Both are awkward and amusing.
If I were to hawk a ware, it would read:
THE ONLY THING TO FEAR IS THE UNLIVED LIFE.
Capitalism & Family Values depend
on a commerce of secure
and predictable reproduction.
Truth, beauty, goodness are all sleek virtues.
But most drifting hearts,
never consult a code of efficiency.
Why not wear a T-shirt that proclaims
SPIRITUALIZED in white letters
across one’s navy chest
and AMAZING GRACE on a sleeve?
A society that cultivates corrupt entitlement
has a taste for melodrama, malice,
and contempt—even for its own.
Societies that linger on photo ops
and manifestos of conflict being inevitable
lend themselves to brutality.
They are notorious for drawing
circles of privilege around
those willing to die for their
country; but not the effeminate.
We unwilling strive
toward a radiant wakefulness,
the muse as guide; and many
of us knowing–combat is optional–
a child on the hip. “For everything
that lives is sacred.” … Lily:
out of the water; Lily: out of itself.
Scott Hightower is the author of five collections of poetry, including Part of the Bargain, (which received Copper Canyon Press’s 2004 Hayden Carruth Award), Self-evident (Barrow Street Press, 2013) and Hontanares (Devenir, 2013), an English/Spanish bi-lingual collection with Spanish translator Natalia Cabajosa. In 2008, my translations garnered a prestigious Barnstone Translation Prize. I live and work in New York, and sojourn in Spain.