Poems and Texts

“Paz Talks of Being Followed” by Janice Lowe

Paz Talks of Being Followed

Paz talks of being followed around stores

island sand never dirties him in any real sense

moreno by any another name is just as teeming with nuance

Motorboats rest
fisher folk pass
enough rum & coke with lime
palapas taste like mopeds
riding a family of four
down Avenida Ruedina Medina

in the salty buoyancy of motor oil
after dip        sunset swim
man sleeps hugging abandoned pyramid
there over past ice cream colored houses
long enclosed porches

some don’t think he’s Mexican or First Nations
what Paz is is something approaching heatstroke

Paz wants more for his daughter Cristina
she wants to be Ixchel of the Moon and monsoons
powerfully mother enough to make death skip a page

Paz goes to work for vacation
Canada Oaxaca Santa Fe
A maker of little things
harmless knick knack stuff for sale
carved painted pointedly charmless

torsos toast in the lateday sun
watercolors don’t get a blues right
tourists disappear into rows of sun gods plastered to full lip smiles

the ingrown funnybone of “art” for pensioners

the feeling of being pulled along
pulled along

Photo Credit: Diana Yanez

Janice A. Lowe

A multi-disciplinary composer, poet and pianist, Janice A. Lowe is the author of LEAVING CLE poems of nomadic dispersal and the chapbook SWAM. Her musical theater compositions include Lil Budda, text by Stephanie L. Jones, Sit-In at the Five & Dime, libretto by Marjorie Duffield and Millie and Christine McKoy Sisters’ Syncopated Sonnets in Song, text by Tyehimba Jess. Her multi-media work Desegregation Remix: 3 Women Sing the Borders is a collaboration with Lee Ann Brown. She teaches multi-media composition at Rutgers University, has taught in Naropa University’s Summer Writing Program and performs with her band NAMAROON. She has composed and recorded with several experimental bands including: w/o a net, Digital Diaspora and HAGL. She is a co-founder of the Dark Room Collective. Lowe was a recent Fellow in Poetics and Poetic Practice at the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing, University of Pennsylvania. She is a longtime music director at White Bird Productions’ Summer Musical Theater Program.

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