Ground Wires

“…let everything you own ascend to a heaven of pure abstraction” ~ D. Bonta


When a child is frightened to tears, no matter the cause, pull on her ears and recite several times, Maykan, Maria Luisa, di ka agbut-buteng.

When there are too many bundles of paper stashed in the attic, remember that any of them can be used for kindling.

When there are pins and needles on the soles of your feet, forego putting them through the ceiling.

Instead, put some spit on your index finger and mark each instep, saying Kurus, padi, di ka agkut-kuti.

When in doubt, offer one more piece of fruit, one more unblemished egg, to the gods.

How many times has weather been forestalled by such gifts?

It’s not just mackerel: admire the smoky blue swirl of their sleek bodies lying side by side in the pan before heat transforms them.

The soul can be hailed with the sound of little bells; with bright pennants of color whipping madly from a string; with cooling beds of taste.

Squint to the left and you will see the row of guardians perched on one side of the pagoda roof. No one remembers to take pictures of them.


In response to How to teem.

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Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What Is Left of Wings, I Ask (forthcoming, 2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

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