HOT INK AUGUST 7, 1997 EXHIBIT

h = o = t   +   i = n = k                     [   Rich Letter   ]

For the Record
(poem: 1984)

    The clouds and the stars didn't wage this war
    the brooks gave no information
    if the mountain spewed stones of fire into the river
    it was not taking sides
    the raindrop faintly swaying under the leaf
    had no political opinions

    and if here or there a house
    filled with backed-up raw sewage
    or poisoned those who lived there
    with slow fumes, over years
    the houses were not at war
    nor did the tinned-up buildings

    intend to refuse shelter
    to homeless old women and roaming children
    they had no policy to keep them roaming
    or dying, no, the cities were not the problem
    the bridges were non-partisan
    the freeways burned, but not with hatred

    Even the miles of barbed-wire
    stretched around crouching temporary huts
    designed to keep the unwanted
    at a safe distance, out of sight
    even the boards that had to absorb
    year upon year, so many human sounds

    so many depths of vomit, tears
    slow-soaking blood
    had not offered themselves for this
    The trees didn't volunteer to be cut into boards
    nor the thorns for tearing flesh
    Look around at all of it

    and ask whose signature
    is stamped on the orders, traced
    in the corner of the building plans
    Ask where the illiterate, big-bellied
    women were, the drunks and crazies,
    the ones you fear most of all: ask where you were.

    --   Adrienne Rich


    Reprinted from The Fact of a Doorframe: Poems 1950-1984, W.W. Norton & Co.: 1984. Rich's most recent book is Dark Fields of the Republic.

[ hOT iNK | TODAY'S | SEATTLE | INKWELL ARCHIVE | INK THINK ]
| SUBSCRIBE | ??? | SUBMIT |

I.E. 4 Users: Subscribe to
Hot Ink!

[ALL CONTENT © 1997-1998 hotink.com ]




[HOT INK Navigation Map]

[Back to
Hot Ink's Front Page] [Back to
Hot
Ink's Front Page] [seattle
ink] [ink
think] [ink
well] [write to hot ink today!]