Allow us for a moment to reflect on the importance of poetry in this ever-changing, fast-paced world we live in. To quote the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), "poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings." Through this unique and invaluable source of expression, we are able to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.
To ensure we all receive our dose of introspective musings, writer and curator, Mahogany L. Browne, will lend her words of artistry each month for us all to absorb. "Since jazz is an open form with certain properties — progression, improvisation, mimicry, etc.," Browne revealed. "I decided that likewise, the jazz sonnet would be as open as possible, adhering only to the loosely followed dictate number of lines. I decided on 14 to 16 and to not exceed that, but to go absolutely bonkers within that constraint. I also give the sonnets a jazzified rhythm structure, akin to platter patter and/or scat and tones like certain Beat writers such as Kerouac, Kaufman and Perkoff. I decided to have fun to — blow my soul."
Today, in honor of World Poetry Day, please enjoy the following sonnet from the talented poet, Mahogany L. Browne.
Photo: Mahogany L. Browne
Pelican by Mahogany L. Browne
She quit every job she owned on a Friday
Left the shabby chairs and floor to squeal farewell
She’s never been the kind to exit in a sentimental way
A poet, an exposed bone, a girl too fragile, a shaken empty well
To be a forgotten song in the throat of a corpse
To be a washed up basin on the edge of an ocean’s mouth
She crawls towards the sea, towards the sun for a morsel
She lives off the sandcastles blown away, a flimsy house
She wants riches of mangoes and dumplings pinched by brown hands
She wants what her hands can’t carry, she want what she should not know exists
Sweet bread from her mother’s kitchen and green crops from good land
The pelican, intersection of death, beak w i d e with its flushed pink stomach persists
Don’t ask her what she does not know, don’t ask her about marriage or honor
Ask her of the children buried, after a sweet medicine wrecked her insides into order
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