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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

Jeanetta Calhoun Mish

Jeanetta Calhoun Mish
Driving Lost Roads Listening to Jedi Mind Tricks: a Ghazal

I’m once in a life time Haley’s Comet out here
Gods, and Earth’s, and Moors we Islamic out here.
                from “Chalice” by Vinnie Paz, Jedi Mind Tricks

oklahoma will be the last song
i’ll ever sing.
                from “the last song” by Joy Harjo

We all know there is only one road home; no other choice out here, You cannot be
located, cannot be located
, insists the haughty electronic voice. Out here, you cannot be.
We see no other people for hours; all things man-made corrode into monuments of dread.
Nothing is louder than prophesied silence. Souls recoil, out here, where anything might be.
Just past a ghost town’s melancholy edge, old possum sits staring at a red-spotted toad.
Fresh branches top the arbor at Mekusukey Church; rejoicing, out here, folks soon will be.
Keystone pipeline rips a deep bleeding wound. The mourning river is running red.
No Trespassing sign declares if you’re not arriving to exploit, out here you should not be.
Me and sister singing and telling old lies, cursing the living and praising the dead.
At brother’s grave, the whiskey poured then hoisted. Out here, lawman, leave us be.
Boarded up main street, Seminole Nation. At Wind Clan allotment, gravehouses sing shadow.
In cold rain undercatalpas at freedman’s Lima Town, quoting DuBois out here, as we should be.
Holdenville quick-stop is flooded with tweakers hoping meth is the cure for their sorrow.
Indian casino promises fortune but slots are nothing but noise. Out here, Luck will never be.
Tracing lines of resistance and sites of rebellion where farmers of The Green Corn bled.
Ghosts chant revolution in Sasakwa streets, their socialist voices out here, will forever be.
On this impossible day, a magic carpet ride with Djinni of the Crosstimbers and a dancing crow,
a rebel-gray sky is jealous of your eyes, of their verdigris joy, out here, where we cannot be.
Jeanetta Calhoun Mish is a poet, writer and literary scholar. Mish has recently published poetry in The Fiddleback, This Land, Naugatuck River Review, Concho River Review, LABOR: Studies in Working Class History of the Americas, San Pedro River Review, Blast Furnace, and, among others. As a contributing editor, Mish regularly writes essays for Oklahoma Today; she is also a contributing editor for Sugar Mule: A Literary Journal and editor of award-winning Mongrel Empire Press. Dr. Mish is the Director of The Red Earth Creative Writing MFA program at Oklahoma City University where she also serves as a faculty mentor in writing pedagogy and the craft of poetry.
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