lunes, 10 de octubre de 2016


Ruth Ellen Kocher

Ruth Ellen Kocher. Nacida el 26 de julio de 1965 en Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, EE.UU., es una poeta estadounidense.


"Alice Coltrane and Discovers the World G/god is B/born", Blackbird , Fall 2009
"string theory", Blackbird , Fall 2009
One Girl Babylon ( New Issues Press , 2003) ISBN 978-1-930974-33-3
When the Moon Knows You're Wandering (New Issues Press, 2002) ISBN 978-1-930974-11-1
Desdemona's Fire (Lotus Press, 1999) ISBN 978-0-916418-83-0


Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poets. Charles Rowell, ed. Forthcoming.
IOU: New Writing On Money. Ron Slate, ed. [Concord Free Press], Forthcoming.
Black Nature. Camille T. Dungy, ed. [University of Georgia Press], Athens Georgia, 2009.
From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great. Camille T. Dungy, Matt O'Donnell, & Jeffrey Thomson eds., Gerald Stern (Foreword), [Persea Books], NY, New York, 2009.
The McSweeney's Book of: Poets Picking Poets, Dominic Luxford, ed. [McSweeney's Books]: San Francisco, 2007.
An Anthology of Creative Writer Garden of Forking Paths. Beth Anstanding and Eric Killough, eds. [Prentice Hall], 2006.
Commonwealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania. Marjorie Maddox, Jerry Wemple eds. Pennsylvania State University Press, 2005.
New Bones: Contemporary Black Writers in America. Kevin Quashie, Keith Miller, Joyce Lausch, eds. [Prentice Hall], 2000.

Translator: Alexander Best

Una meditación sobre la respiración

Cuando amamos las palabras, ellas prenden fuego.
– Édourd Glissant

para A.M.


Por último he aprendido hablar con Dios
por medio de mi hambre del aire, una reflexión asmática.
Como un perro que rema en la mar profunda,
y las olas están llevando su agitación hacia su hogar,
en algún lugar entre los pliegues rosas de los pulmones.


Llama a Dios. Recuerda el regalo de la música.
Como una flauta da un soplo de aire al cuerpo,
ondula el acorde entre A y C;
o como una trompa moja sus alas en un lago,
invisible detrás de la sombra nocturna del árbol.
Oye un sonido staccato cumplimenta una tarde
mientras unos amigos se acercan, con su risa audible:
Dios expeliendo la respiración del intrumento del cuerpo.


El incienso en la parte trasera de la garganta
no tiene gusto al sabor de Dios; también la lila.
Inhala la estación que falla,
las floraciones de un árbol – que se pudren –
o la pata mutilada de un conejo,
dejada descomponerse sobre una pared del jardín.
No despedirás el sabor de Dios.


No está en casa Dios.
Dios rodea el estribillo de un himno.
Dios trota de aquí a Atlanta – y aquí
es un lugar en todas partes.
Dios jadea el olor de saguaro agriándose a lo largo del desierto
y Él se detiene para rellenar los pechos de gecos
con el aire chamuscado de la mañana.
Aun los martines-pescadores
vuelan como un instrumento de viento madera
para enviarle – en su ausencia – sus deseos.


El mismo pulso, largo y corto, el jalón y el empujón.
Pausa para exhalar completamente; inhala, pausa.
Aspira a la cavidad honda de tu verano,
la cuba ahuecada de “sin palabras”
mientras cruzas la calle,
la inhalación rápida mientras tus rodillas se doblan
a cada escalón del pozo de la escalera.
Tiemblas el sonido que haces en este mundo.
Respira – respira duro. Casi como si
alguien puede que oírte.

Meditation on Breathing

When we love words, words catch fire.
– Édourd Glissant

for A.M.


I have finally learned to speak to God
through my hunger for air, asthmatic
searching: a dog paddling in deep sea,
wave carries his churning home
somewhere between the lungs’ pink folds.


Call God. Remember the gift of music.
How a flute gives breath to a body,
undulates the chord between A and C,
or a horn wets its wings on a lake
invisible behind the tree’s night shadow.
Hear staccato fill an evening while friends
gather around, their audible laughing, God
expelling breath from the body’s instrument.


Incense on the back of the throat
does not taste like God. Lilac does not
taste like God. Breathe in the failing
season, the rotting blossoms of an overgrown
tree, or a rabbit’s severed leg
left to rot on a garden wall.
You will not exhale the taste of God.


God is not home. God skirts the refrain
of a hymn. God jogs from here to Atlanta,
and here is an everywhere place. God pants
souring saguaro scent through the desert and stops
to fill the chests of gecko with scorched
morning air. Even the kingfishers woodwind
their wishes to God’s absence.


The same pulse, long and short, pull
and push. Pause to exhale fully. Inhale,
pause. Breathe into the deep
cavity of your summer, the hollowed cask
of wordlessness as you cross the street,
the quick draw in as your knees bend
into each stairwell step. Shudder the sound
you make in the world. Breathe. Breathe hard,
as though someone might hear you.

Ruth Ellen Kocher is the author of Goodbye Lyric: Gigans and Selected Poems (Sheep Meadow Press 2014), domina  Un/blued (Tupelo Press 2013), One Girl Babylon (New Issues Press 2003), When the Moon Knows You’re Wandering, Winner of the Green Rose Prize in Poetry (New Issues Press 2002), and Desdemona’s Fire winner of the Naomi Long Madget Award for African American Poets (Lotus Press 1999). Her poems appear in various anthologies including, Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poets, Black Nature, and  From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great. She has been awarded fellowships from the Cave Canem Foundation, the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets, and Yaddo. She is Associate Chair of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Colorado where she teaches innovative Poetry, Poetics, and Literature, a Contributing Editor at Poets & Writers Magazine. 


You shake a mile of ocean
not your shoulders but a different language

Maybe you’re talking in your sleep
When I am watching the Ethiopian grocer
hand me change

Quiet is one language of war but
Most importantly only one


The door doesn’t understand solitude anymore than you
having always sought or been sought

I mean to say I know less and less
And know you know less and less also

The shore edge foam and caw of water
You lose

Instead of knowing You sleep somewhere else
You feel the air preparing to speak

I do not know what the air says to you
The closet with your shoes is quiet like the door 

He Dreams of Falling

 At the table in patio seating, 
a young man starched into my evening 
in waiter black and white-- 
he’s probably named John, Tom, 
something less spectacular than the busboy 
named Ari at the table beside me. 
He is a boy I’ve seen and I hide that from him, 
a silence he doesn’t understand as he turns away
not remembering that a week ago while waiting for a bus 
I saw him step over the legs of an old
homeless woman
sprawled on the sidewalk. His foot 
not clearing her arm, caught, 
so that he jerked her body 
while a consciousness 
almost found her but didn’t, 
just stirred somewhere below her face. 
In the spiral where he turned he glanced 
not at the woman but to see who’d seen. 
He saw me watching him, jack-lighted and drawn 
into the warm ceremony that fell through him. 
I understood this explosion, 
the burn from the beginning, 
there when a bus passes, or a waiter 
quietly puts down your check.
He could be my brother, 
have parents at home in Ohio where there is a small lie 
buried in a garden with snow peas and basil. 
There may be another breaking the soil, 
dogs who bark into the woods, 
constellations who see our freeways as spines-- 
or he may miss a warm climate, 
groves of oranges measuring the circular 
scent of weight each time a heavy fruit falls. 
He may know that secretly 
the hearts of children conspire to stop 
when parents close their bedroom doors. 
But in this construction, 
the pace that takes him back and forth 
in the servitude of strangers,
he has forgotten, again, to feel for me, 
eating alone, a woman familiar 
deep in the eyes, 
with his same knowledge of movement 
that bends us forward, 
the instinct of our heels 
ready to turn against that jerk a body makes 
even in dead sleep, 
the stir that is less than we ask for, 
less than an old woman, 
or a woman growing old.

Forms of Range and Loathing

typical of an arid country among hundreds of other flora

you find half a province of avalanches 

parts are desert

I might say light defeated by a dark thing that strips

mountain and bullet 


the mountains have forgotten airborne

you would never say howl

never say mountain

or region or enemy

you say men’s mouths  are the woods’ black holes

I’m thinking The guy on TV didn’t seem upset about

killing his wife If he’d done so but he didn’t he says

nothing about him if not after an interview

tuft bodies of red wings scatter the lawns 

did you hear 

birds out of sky

some dead wind

he didn’t seem upset and so may as well

have killed his wife

a jury says

If you could hear me now I’m not sure how important

it might seem In another language

Hope is not too much or that a random crime

might mean We share something

Skit: Sun Ra Welcomes the Fallen

Jupiter means anger. Sun Ra does not. Sun Ra dances the Cake Walk on Saturn’s pulpy eyes. If you believe that, I’ll tell you another one. The first is 13 and the next is 20. They were not good boys but they were boys. They were boys who died for this thing or that. The next was 16 and the last was 18. One had a cell phone. One had a gun. On earth, a goose opens its chest to a sound. The goose takes the bullet this way.  A sacrifice denied to the wind since there is no such thing as sacrifice anymore having succumbed to fever and the millennium. The bullet is all consequence. Sun Ra refuses red—long and high, low and deep. His arms are long enough to embrace them.


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