half centuries — NaPoWriMo2015 #19

[a small series of landays]

Do you think I have forgotten how
sunglasses can be given, and taken, just for fun?

menudo’s chile steam won’t disguise
the traveller I am, and nomad you’d like to be

we are no Frida and Diego
throwing knives and punches under Aztec moonlit stars

nevertheless our poetry shines
intimately stitching verse quilts, against winter cold.

Do you think I have forgotten how
mangoes feel when ripe? Flesh and bone, bitter and sweetness.


The Prompt: “write a landay. Landays are 22-syllable couplets, generally rhyming. The form comes from Afghanistan, where women often use it in verses that range from the sly and humorous to the deeply sardonic and melancholy. Check out this long investigative article on landays for a fascinating look into a form of poetry often composed in secret, and rarely written down. You could try to write a single landay – a hard-hitting couplet that shares some secret (or unspoken) truth, or you could try to write a poem that strings multiple landays together like stanzas (maybe something akin to a syllabic ghazal?)”

I urge you to take the time to read the long investigative article mentioned above. Accompanied by many photos and verbal vignettes, it is an unmissable piece of literary journalism.

I write today in honor of a fellow writer and friend with whom I share a fascination for Mexican culture and cuisine, as well as language in general and poetics in particular. ~LD


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