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

Section 2: The Retina Cascading

Shelagh Patterson

Shelagh Patterson
How Small Hate Must Feel when Looking at Love in the Mirror
Love must be fragmented
un-negatable like an act of love
ever be erased ever even
like cockroaches if we think of them as
            love if love
is life would survive
a large act of hate
            like nuclear war.
How small hate must feel when looking at love in the mirror
knowing that the reverberations
of even its grandest
terrors might be healed and transformed
            like growing
a healthy orchard in the toxic ruins of demolished homes.
Shelagh Patterson was born and raised in Brooklyn. She is a poet, scholar, and activist with an MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry from CUNY Hunter College and a PhD in English: Critical and Cultural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. She was a recipient of the Bronx Writers’ Center’s Literary Arts Fellowship, a Cave Canem fellow, and a Scholar/Artist in Residence at the Urban Issues Institute at Essex County College. Her recent projects include being the humanities partner for JACK, an arts center in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn and writing an afterschool theatre arts curriculum for the City of Newark. Her poems have appeared in anthologies, newspapers, magazines, journals, experimental theater, bureaucratic documents, and a feature film. Currently an Assistant Professor of English at Montclair State University, she lives in Newark, NJ.



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