THIS BLOG IS NO LONGER OPERATIONAL. PLEASE ENJOY WHAT IS HERE, AND DO LEAVE A COMMENT IF YOU WISH. NORTH CAROLINA'S NEW POET LAUREATE IS CATHY SMITH BOWERS. SHE WILL SOON HAVE HER OWN WEBSITE THROUGH THE NORTH CAROLINA ARTS COUNCIL SITE. I WILL BE SHIFTING MY ATTENTION TO HERE, WHERE I AM, (SEE SIDEBAR)USING IT TO DRAW ATTENTION TO WRITERS WHOSE WORK DESERVES ATTENTION. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT ME THERE. For a video of the installation ceremony, please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xAk6fOzaNE.
Go to http://www.yourdailypoem.com/, managed with finesse by Jayne Jaudon Ferrer, who says, "Our intent is to make visitors to Your Daily Poem aware of the joy and diversity of poetry."
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
POET OF THE WEEK: BRUCE LADER
Bruce Lader is the founding director of Bridges Tutoring, an organization educating multicultural students. A teacher of disadvantaged teenagers for many years, he holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education, is a former Writer-in-Residence at the Helene Wurlitzer Colony, and has received an honorarium from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California-Santa Barbara. His first full-length collection, Discovering Mortality (March Street Press, 2005), was a finalist for the Brockman- Campbell Award. He was also a finalist for the 2008 Greensboro Award for Poetry. A featured reader in many venues, he has worked as a Poet-in-the-Schools of North Carolina, New York, and California. His poems have appeared in over 75 journals and including Poetry, The New York Quarterly, Poet Lore, Potomac Review, Roanoke Review, New Millennium Writings, Asheville Poetry Review, International Poetry Review, Main Street Rag, Iodine Poetry Journal, Harpur Palate, and the anthology, Against Agamemnon: War Poems.
Our Own Blood
The generals deliberate on the climate of war, insulted that some harebrained foreigners might beat them at seizing the capital.
The generals read barometers of insiders, tally missiles and unmanned drones. Their temperatures escalate as the budget deficit dives and the foreigners move forward.
The Supreme Commanders would like nothing better than to turn the tide, reduce the expense of casualties to zero, risk only what’s necessary, leave nothing to accident.
Fingers like rolls of million-dollar bills toying with the buttons of boom, the generals reckon lives, plot exact targets via satellite surveillance.
The security of our native land hovers like Apache helicopters on a do-or-die sortie.
The generals know it has always been us or the enemy, the battle between alien blood and our own.
Blips of stealth on reconnaissance radar alert the PFC; he determines position, zeroes in with unflinching telescopic power. The face and build look familiar though he isn’t certain he recognizes the helmeted youth training a rifle on him, resolved now, as he is, to execute orders, complete school, bury debts. In the desperate moment they have to decipher each other’s encoded shibboleth, identify themselves in the purgatory where they’ve been conditioned to kill; or remain lost, detached forever, blown to a furlough of sand in the schizoid scrimmage over a fast killing at any cost.
I've lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina since 1968, though I'm a native of SW Georgia. My paternal grandmother was born in the Blue Ridge, and I grew up wanting to live here. Where I am.
I've published five collections of poetry, the most recent 4 being with LSU Press, and have published poetry in magazines ranging from The Atlantic Monthly to Appalachian Heritage. But I also hike, bang pots and pans around in my kitchen, and love several dogs who leave fur all over my carpets. I write poetry because it's my way of singing back to the world both within and without.