Stone Soup Servings is a regular series for Oddball Magazine that features upcoming performers at Stone Soup Poetry, the long-running spoken word venue in the Boston area that has recently partnered with Oddball Magazine. Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery at 106 Prospect Street with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m.
On May 26, we close out Stone Soup’s anniversary month with a feature by David P. Miller. We hope that his performance will encourage you to buy his forthcoming chapbook from Červená Barva Press. If this is your introduction to David (despite his past appearances in Oddball Magazine), read below for a sampling of his poem Sunflower Sutra Variations, the complete series being previously published over at Wilderness House Literary Review.
Sunflower Sutra Variations
I walked away from her, tracked my path back and up a different cross street. It was evening,
I was sick of seeming just another
Jack with an agenda, trailing a woman home from the subway. Hopscotching
the oily rain puddles to keep my distance. I know that
look. Fretful and sidelong, or icecold and penetrating, or the scream of a
silent look away. Not that
I rush to conceal skin, gender or age markings. All these
and hells of presumption engage us, even when we play against type.
And the gray aura of baffled vision, the rusted
corolla of It’s a Me Thing, You Wouldn’t Understand, razor-edged
leaves of the forest of no return – Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Attempt
Another’s Threshold. I’ve lived in that
unholy land, I know
the grime of my imagined type, soiling
all those attempts at gestures that failed, rebounded to my own confusion,
and those alien eye contacts that may have hurt:
a male stranger’s hello still
entangled in family memory with death and humiliation.
A perfect mistake, to offer a smile to a man or woman outside your checkboxes.
How to indicate Prefer Not to Say when skin color and gray hair
precede like heralds?
Poor melting pot, poor patchwork quilt. Your recipe fails to bind, your threads dissolve.
You were dreaming Emma Lazarus’ song
and you woke to find the New Colossus a ragbag.
So I retrieve a few of the homelier scraps, lift my clumsy needle, add pieces
not to an American Dreamcoat, but an American rakasu, Zen robe.
And deliver it to who will try it on, alter and pass it forward.
We’re standing together, taking hands and dropping them,
slapping away and clasping again. We strain to see the pattern
among ten thousand arcing sparks.