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Kevin Gerard Rashid Lyrical and narrative, Kevin Gerard Rashid’s poems possess an honesty that gives them their hard edge. Often sparked by humor and Rashid’s insistence on looking past the obvious, the subjects and themes of his poems reveal the unexpected and more than what was bargained for. His poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Academy of American Poets New Voices 1989–1990 and Arab Detroit: From Margin to Mainstream. For nineteen years, Rashid worked as a groundskeeper at Wayne State University while teaching courses in creative writing and American studies both there and at Detroit’s Marygrove College. Thug Nun The bell rings and Sister Mary Rodrigue pushes Paul Jedro to the floor— Never ignore this nun who never teaches ’cause there’s no lesson she’d learn well enough— The principal forever explaining the riddle of her violence to angry confused parents willing to be swayed ’cause they’d paid for this. 269 2CHARARA_pages_165-334.qxd:Layout 1 11/14/08 2:39 PM Page 269 It is late October of 1975. It is fourth hour freshman English and Sister Mary Router reads “The Highwayman” to a dazed and jittery room of Chicanos Arabs Blacks Irish and Poles— This is Holy Redeemer High and a mad woman stalks the hall like no bad dream— like no poem you ever failed to understand. Forget the hall pass— She’d hit you for looking at her the wrong way For looking at her the right way— She broke all the rules our culturally sensitive lay folks and sexually tied up nuns never could. I think there was some problem—some trigonometric thing left dangling in her frontal lobe— 270 Kevin Gerard Rashid 2CHARARA_pages_165-334.qxd:Layout 1 11/14/08 2:39 PM Page 270 And we were just in the way so her discipline made no sense— and she prepared us for the world. A Loved One Will Do You know this feeling: a discussion becomes an argument— someone yells at you while accusing you of yelling or spits words of teeth that render you vicious— Someone rips you out of your world and into their wound and you are ruined— you start yelling hellfire from your own wounds— anything to get out of this— Outside old reason akin to kin and aching to pin it on anyone nearest— The walls too thin for all the screaming and the neighbors happy not to be you. Kevin Gerard Rashid 271 2CHARARA_pages_165-334.qxd:Layout 1 11/14/08 2:39 PM Page 271 Keeping the Knife The water is too hot to wash dishes I get too clean Trying to wash off what won’t And after finishing the dishes and silverware I’m left with this single paring knife— Three inch blade wooden handle angular point— Knife of the woman I just stopped living with for three years and change I’ve purged the house of her delivering to her new space every remainder every reminder But this knife— part of a set this one small blade I kept My father’s people say never to give or accept knives as gifts— 272 Kevin Gerard Rashid 2CHARARA_pages_165-334.qxd:Layout 1 11/14/08 2:39 PM Page 272 That it invites a cutting of relationships and— almost consciously— I keep to that belief I wonder then what consequence I attract by keeping this— not as a gift But as a small passive theft She’s never asked for it back She never kept track— I did that— Which is why she left so much behind Anyhow What’s this knife do for me now? What safety? What threat? What now to cut at? Kevin Gerard Rashid 273 2CHARARA_pages_165-334.qxd:Layout 1 11/14/08 2:39 PM Page 273 Lady Macbeth I had an epiphany Sunday while You were visiting family in the South: I miss the old silence of Sundays— my mornings turned to afternoons off the clock, when I could zone and scribble and pretend I was a poet. Since we’ve married, Sunday’s become a stage for your great and angry performance: the profoundest house cleaning I’ve ever been forced out-of-house not to witness— a ritual purge that, even as I see it and imagine you ramming my foot with the Hoover, makes me lonely and wondering where you are. Whatever Sundays have become, I can only breathe on the earth of your air...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781610752060
Related ISBN
9781557288677
MARC Record
OCLC
769187839
Pages
328
Launched on MUSE
2012-02-08
Language
English
Open Access
No
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