Saturday, October 08, 2011

Reflections In A Smoking Mirror : Poems of Mexico&Belize by Paul Pines

In A Smoking Mirror
Poems of Mexico & Belize
Paul Pines
Dos Madres Press 2011
ISBN 1-933675-60-2

Many of the poems seem to take place when seafaring
men jump out of their boats with sword in hand, ready to conquer
the enemy with the clash of weapons and political demise. Someone
has to lose but it is not the verse. These poems are similar to a
Keith Jarret Concert. They can rip your heart out and leave the reader
defenseless. So we have the ancients and the jazz musician combo:

saw him coming
and warned his orchestra

-when the wind speaks
don't answer or you're lost

Robed in yellow red & green
they sat in silence...

until the Wind
began to sing

and they couldn't help
but accompany him

the above poem is a hymn that traverses the early story telling, chorus
and ancients collide on the page with a combination of mighty warrior
and old hags:

“a hag among young whores”


to find Mother Earth
a many – limbed monster
moving over water...”

Ahh. Not much changes. We kill and confiscate, claim as our own
the spoils of war and his 'him' dominates:

“Two days
after Blizean Independence
and almost all foreign visitors
have left...
in fact
there were so many
a West Indian P.M. Kept asking
where the Belizeans were
(many of whom had been reduced
to peeping through the fence)
It rained on Saturday
as the Belizean flag was raised
to a 21 gun salute
fired by a frigate
off shore
but the firework display
was scrubbed
after attempts to light it
and it was clear
most of the population
had stayed home...

The poems are well written, informative and many readers will
revel in their myth and reality:

“...while Carib girls pace
the streets

coal black
in tight slacks
hair in corn-rows

smile at me
by the River Front Hotel
where I wait for the truck
to Mango Creek...”

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