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in a no-win zone

July 8, 2011 4 comments

by Evie Shockley

we remain ever in six-x-six rooms, on ice, unseen :
we consume no sun or moon views : we sew our
concise seam, same as ever : we receive no new air,
never roam, never run across a wren, a sure omen :
we once were warriors : now our sorrows rain on
us : our rosier news is no nooses : we mourn ruinous
memories, mine rue, see no surcease : woe is we :
some insane sin or crass crime means we weave our
remorse in an iron maze, women, men in an ominous
zoo : we seem mean so we can survive, a zero sum, no
score, or worse, we owe : nervous, we are unsure our
voices can save us : we scream, more room now : we
vow, no more war : our vices over, we are sore users :
wave au revoir : soon we resume our ravenous music


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Evie Shockley has two books of poetry: the new black (Wesleyan, 2011) and a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press, 2006). Her poems and literary criticism have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. She co-edits jubilat and teaches African American literature and creative writing at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

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