Joan Logghe and John Knoll Poetry Reading
Joan Logghe has lived a life in poetry in La Puebla, New Mexico. Awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry Grants, A Mabel Dodge Luhan Internship, and a Barbara Deming/Money for Women grant. She taught poetry to children in Bratislava, Slovakia, Vienna, Austria and Zagreb, Croatia in 2004. She believes in the power of the local and ran free art workshops, AIDS writing circles, and taught at Ghost Ranch 31 years and as a poet-in-the schools for 40 years. Joan was Santa Fe’s Poet Laureate from 2010-2012. She will read from new work.
Our Lady of Sorrows Fiesta
Even though the world is ending
I am fighting off frown lines
and even though there is no hope
I named my daughter Esperanza
and even though I hear the science
and the Arctic ice calving and pipelines and penguins,
I teach poetry, the least useful most important thing
and even though I do not carry special knowledge,
I think of Pittsburgh, a man carrying THE END IS NEAR
sign in 1963 on Fifth Avenue as I walk to my ballroom dance class
I am still dancing. I wipe carefully the counter
in case Buddha or the Messiah may arrive,
and with a jar liberate the wasps and spiders
so they might live long and prosper, small things
and though there is storm surge
I put on jewelry, small things
And if it were happening to my house,
if my child were swept away, if then, what
and always I dislike people saying
“That is a First World problem,”
and though the earth is swallowing its children,
I gave birth three times, and though my grandchildren
have five hearts, I tilt my head so my double chin
won’t show on FaceTime, and though we are dying
of unnatural causes, I laugh, as the comedians are prophets
and I’m playing those Leonard Cohen songs of a Saturday,
while I take a petrol Sabbath, small things
and let the world come to me bearing its beauty.
I walk the razor’s edge between dark and light,
the beauty way. Life on the narrow edge
we go on living in the even so.
Poem for Elaine
Today it was Elaine who taught me how to be
alive. I always tell her I remember her,
quote her in my little tight fist of a mind
and open my flower heart when she was here.
Elaine, with her unlikely cancer silently
singing in her bones, her back-packer body
and her dark flashing life. It wasn’t a rabbi
or priest, not the one nun at Christ in the Desert
Monastery. It was Elaine as happy to see me
as I to see her, who spent this summer as if
it was her last, canoe trips and Sufi festivals
and music, I’m sure. One who lived
in bounty and planted well, who harvested
the basil before freeze, Elaine whose tears
were the first thing I met so many years ago
who walked out into desert all alone
when love had let her down too many days.
She spoke inside my heart, “Err on the side
of Love. Err of the side of love.” I hear her
in the aisle of Trader Joe’s and drumming
as we sang in synagogue, a Taos sort
of prayer requires a drummer as well
as a shofar. God bless Elaine
who lost a child two years ago
I never asked, just sat by her and wore
her bracelet as accompaniment to grief,
it’s major gleam and dark beauty, like hers.
No matter how much gone, she brought
the basil in, and mourned the dahlias
that she lost to early frost.
John Knoll is an original voice. The power of his poetry has four vital sources: the earth, the street, the trickster and the dark heart of the unconscious. His poetry publications include The Magic Vessel, Wrestling the Wheel, Ghosting America, Elevator Music for the Dead, Opera of Virus, Hummingbird Graffiti and Black Wing, a spoken word cd with John Macker. Knoll has performed with many musicians and bands, including The Jack Kerouac Band, Nuclear Trout and Ground Zero: rock n roll, jazz and hip-hop. Black Mesa Blues, his first book of short stories, was recently published by Spartan Press. Knoll and Joe Speer co-wrote and performed two plays: The Last Crucifixion and Central Casting.