Poetry

Abigail George | The selected letters of a poet

poet
Image: Omid Armin Unsplash remix

The selected letters of a poet

The hurt has turned into a wound.
Please, the woman says to the man,
the village elder, stop hurting me.

He pours salt into the wound and
rubs it in. The woman weeps and
no one sees her weeping. Her mother bakes

cakes. Like Africa she rises and turns
into Rumi. She turns into a prophet
without her pain being acknowledged.

Her pain turns overnight into anxiety.
The anxiety of the body-shamed.
It becomes noble at every counter-attack.

She becomes the diary of a new leaf.
Suicidal, she listens to Bruce Springsteen
on repeat and has midnight conversations

with him. He brings an expert psychologist
with him. She is both lamentation and
Ghana in bloom, the rejected starling majoring

in the metaphysical. I become J.D. Salinger’s
lover. I become Joyce Maynard. I become
the scientist. I fall through the air like a bright star.

———–

Gull Island

+++++ I ask the man a pointed question, at
which point does the pain end
He does not answer me. He drinks
his black, sugarless tea. He turns his head
The river is silent and thick with sorrows.
Even the hour is filled with this pain
I stand on the edge of the man’s throat
I am the blunt knife edge. I live to write
When I am dead all I will have are these
poems. I find my purpose in my craft
I am the green apple. Books are my companions.
+++++ I taste crisp butter lettuce. Dirty dish
My poetry fills the contaminated ozone
You’re a witness. I swallow layers

++++++++++ of Sharon Olds

+++++ The stars taste like Dorianne Laux’s painted lips
I am lonely, Romeo Oriogun. The sun. The sun
Nomad, do you have answers for me?
Do you have any American solutions?
I wanted the pain to end, you see. This war
My sorrow still has not come to an end
My tears are like these words (everlasting)
I have no interest in this climate talk of change
+++++ This jazz. I make short films. I make a
YouTube channel. I have thirty subscribers
This mission statement is bulleted with flowers
How frightening this experiment is. This region
The martial arts and jar of olives of this loneliness
This assessment and evaluation of sorrows.

———-
Poems: Abigail George
Image: Omid Armin Unsplash remix

About the author

Abigail George

South African Abigail George is a blogger, essayist, short story writer, screenwriter, novelist, and poet. She briefly studied film in Johannesburg. She has two film projects in development and is the recipient of two grants from the National Arts Council, one from the Centre for the Book and another from ECPACC. Her publishers are Tendai Rinos Mwanaka (Zimbabwe, Mwanaka Media and Publishing or Mmap), Xavier Hennekinne (Australia/New Zealand, Gazebo Books), and Thanos Kalamidas (Finland, Ovi). Her literary representative is Morten Rand. She is a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net nominated, and European Union Poetry Prize longlisted poet. Her poem “The Accident” was Identity Theory's Editor's Choice for Spring. Ink Sweat and Tears chose her poem “When light poured into me at the swimming pool” as a September Pick of the Month, and she recently made the shortlist of the Writing Ukraine Prize 2023. She is a poet/writer who believes in the transformative, restorative and healing powers of words. Her latest book is Letter To Petya Dubarova (Australia/New Zealand, Gazebo Books). Young Galaxies (a poetry book) was released in 2023 from Mmap and a memoir When Bad Mothers Happen is forthcoming. “Clarissa, Hector and Septimus Redefined” was recently published by Novelty Fiction in Kindle format.

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