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Anchor Baby*

I taught & tutored some of your kids, liked & loved some of your kids, advised & counseled some of your kids, coached baseball & soccer to some of your kids. & without me, your carrots would not have been packed, the screws of your planes, refrigerators, & other major appliances would not have been designed or molded, your Nabiscos would not have been delivered to your local convenience store, your cars would not have been repaired & painted, your elderly would not have been cared for, your dentists and lawyers would not have been coached, your shirts would not have been sewn.


in the hole up to my neck
keeping the sides straight
chipping away at jutting
rocks pulling out the roots
at every edge anchor

from a mile and a half under
water floating the spar
crude draws up all that
length where the real work
of conversion takes place

hundreds of feet down
in the black and dust
of this mountain where air
comes pumped and not
and simple sparks break out

and back in this hole
dust in eyes and ears
my mouth stuck with mud
complains and whines
for respite

  Anchors Aweigh!

A former slave ship
ride and the weight
of systematized starvation
buried somewhere in
the Atlantic, lost
in the water of life, your former lives.

Die for a country not yet yours. Micks
with bayonets imagine
grey coats as former landlords,
Nobody owns any other.
Not here. Not in Ireland ever again.
Priests in paddy wagons.
We aren’t the right kind of white.
so you can’t go
to the bars that sell your whiskey or beer
Bootlegger cops and the rest of the
niggers of Europe leave tinderbox ghettos
for steel, iron, coal, gold coasts
without moss at the edge of a destiny
they were told to manifest.

Bareknuckle box your Catholic guilt
all the way to the White House
just to have some cracker empty
your head in Texas.
There’s always an anchor, a lifeline to a life
that may have been.

So dig your heels in, baby.
Dye the St. Charles green,
kiss a Leprechaun,
Be a mean drunk, a nun with an iron fist,
be a gypsy or a lizard king,
dance some sevens,
wear your freckles with moxie.
Never be their kind of white.

May the road rise to meet you.
May you be in heaven before
the devil knows you’re dead.
F our driveling bourgeois imaginations; every bad driving, kung fu fighting, acrylic nail filing, liquor store owning, slant-eyed fallback. Ever hear of blowback? Ask the CIA. Don’t even plan for round 2: any house cleaning, bra burning, PMSing, picking up the kids after school. You do not want to tango with me—an ethnic immigrant chick already mentally lynched. I spend less time worrying about you than those parentheses justifying apathy. Why can’t we just let Myanmar (formerly Burma) be Myanmar? The difference between not fearing death and not being afraid to die is necessity. But how would we know? The day between applying for and getting a .22 does NOT count. Neither does wholesale buying, teeth whitening, wine and tapas imbibing, yoga posing, party voting, “I am not under any orders to make the world a better place.” We donate to Red Cross, to PBS, to Meals on Wheels; we recycle and watch BBC? Wow.
___________ _____lull us
to believe the premises of scarcity
____ and lack
______________pin us
in denial of brotherhood
______________weigh us
in sacrifice
______________offer up
our neighbors
Even the best of ships needs an anchor
Remember the titanic as it went in a metal heap at the rage of an iceberg
I, too, beset by that same anchorage—am on land, in between all the Earth’s oceans, a native son

It has taken me awhile to say “why this shackle”
Why this thorny bramble
Why this taboo

This birth free zone
is mine and yet I’m here—a waif
—born; my imagined nation is set firm if it ran aground

If it ran aground I’m set free but the anchor reels me out to sea away from jus soli
A modicum of neutrality would be to hang up the phone when I call to say hello, this pathogen cinder
is me, I have this anchor that follows me around every birthday,

try it out, mr. President,
Or better yet please let it go out of mode—outta-sight—an iceberg, pantheon cider;
I have a job to do: setting anchor for my birthday—if it’s a red balloon I’ll call it

to attention in midflight—I’ll reel it in like they do with anchors in the Navy
I’ll pop it, sir—blood red
Then like Popeye facing the eye of the mariner storm I’ll read you my bill

of rights: cast away
______the anchorage, baby

*a collaborative poem

text: harold terezón (USA), Clint Cambell (USA), Carleen Tibbetts (USA, facebook), Kaira Jordan Ki (USA, facebook), Anne Yale (USA, blog), and Omer Zalmanowitz (Israel, blog).
(note: the order the authors are listed in corresponds to the part of the poem written by each person)

image: 'Dark Nebula'
- Terrin Stam Munawet, USA

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BluePrintReview - issue 26 - identity