Poetry Flash Assistant Editor
A French and Yiddish translator and published poet (Pressed Flowers
from the Holy Land) Sharon Coleman holds an undergraduate degree in
Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and both
an M.A. and an M.F.A. in Poetics from New College of California. She
teaches in the Peralta Community Colleges, where she teaches Creative
Writing and English full-time at Vista College, and is faculty advisor
to Milvia Street Magazine, Vista's national award-winning,
student-edited and -produced literary journal.
Sawyer Camp Trail
as her water
broke clearly around
muscles dig deep into her rippling image
looking forward, looking down
sweat, shift, sway
shore side seers
and their dogged images travel
alongside her water parting
after "The Street" and "Two Ladies in the Street" by Ernst Kirchner,
1. Eine andere Strasse. . . der Kraftwagen axing her spine, city
contracted in bent permanence the once angular springs, “See? Do you?”
the other streets, away from the zigzag vitality center, here where
negative space crumples into wooden tears of a backward “S”.
2. a protectorate? a wall against irreparable damage, the cripple I
have become, Ich komme zum Ende, no longer protected by her
stripes and starched clowning collar. We looked into each other’s eyes
and stepped common in rhythm, eine andere Strasse where your eyes
range sharp the violence just beyond, to the right of, the Zigeunerin
dressed tight in peasantry’s scarf and dark fraternal hat. Wir
kommen zum Ende, another street, bent, petrified, at the bridge.
3. A city of bridges and the madness of crossing over into colorless
lives. They say I see in threes. Breaking out of sound, he removed his
ear as simply as one would alter a painted or carved figure. Bridges of
daubs, cuts, rolling, pressing, pressed together and asked to fight
their war, I remove not the finger that would release the bullet from
the metal but the entire hand, the woman I formed nude, my impassive
witness. We move through bridges, we live on both sides.
4. . . . cutting deep into the wood of the country, fibers frozen
from ankle to knee stepping over the river from the electric to mud,
sweat, gas-burning street lamps, they live here in thought-contorting
homes rotting, fallen. Yesterday’s rain still underfoot, muddled words,
secret accents, cutting quick, on guard, taken, our gazes part.
5. walking blocks, we have come to the end. Fluid strokes in the
city’s center and vitality sapped to exhaustion, we live on either side
as time passes backward over the small wooden bridge, so broken, “where
does it lead?” to be replaced . . . scarless art nouveau. . . no, not to
look, imprisoned by the primitive wood of today.
6. She flames from her legs to a charcoaled face, incendiary
modernity in a backward street. She doubles over, my painted love, from
the daemonic to an autumnal no.
tracing in white
just north of