On the first day of National Poetry Month,

the Buddha is a little confused by the utter
lack of change in the landscape. Where
are the giant poetry billboards and colorful
poetry flags that should have erupted all over
the city overnight? Where are the planes criss-
crossing the sky, dropping poetry bombs
over the green countryside so that anyone
looking up into the swirling mass might simply
reach out to pluck handfuls of sonnets, lucky
couplets, wistful aubades? Why are the tongues
of leaves not inscribed with dancing ideographs
that might be translated for literal as well as
metaphoric meanings? When he boards the morning
train, as usual his fellow commuters are preoccupied
with texting or surfing the web on their smartphones.
Why are they not instead buried in pages of Tagore
or Whitman; or Palgrave’s Golden Treasury, which he
coveted for months in his youth and for which
he saved every bit of allowance until he could walk
into the only bookstore in town to purchase it?
From the platform, he squints toward the street
entrance as he ascends on the escalator;
he reaches into his pocket for some change
to put in the guitar case of the girl
who’s always on the corner, singing
her heart out, strumming the blues.


In response to Via Negativa: Weltanschauung.

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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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