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By Marilene Phipps-Kettlewell

Marilene Phipps’s poetry invitations the reader to percentage sharp slices of Caribbean adventure: Haiti is either level and backdrop for those who circulation in a number of strata of the social scheme and during the 3 levels of lifestyles, in lieu of solutions to the Sphinx’s riddle. via voices, nostalgic and delicate, denouncing and shrill, we trip to a mythologizing Caribbean land populated with humans whose dramatic depth and fights for all times are become occasionally humorous, occasionally disquieting, and continuously richly evocative, palpable poetry.  

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Sample text

Yet, look at me also: my grandfather knew the tree, my great-grandfather knew the tree, many before them served the peanut tree poured rum, lit candles, pulled weeds still, my own husband is a good-for-nothing who brings home his children with other women.  And they hate me. Page 40 Elzir's Advice As soon as your husband is dead, slap him and cross over his body three times!  Spread more sesame around his grave mixed with broken needles. trying to thread tiny seeds with broken needlesand keep his mind off you.

Pain is your face as you undressed to seduce me; your eyes, pallid when morning comes and you have fed your passion to lingering ghosts. Pain is missing your love when you have too much pain to have any love to give.  His cheek gently reached for her hair as one approaches white jasmine, hesitant, awed, invited by its scent. Seduced, he had smiled and the photograph seemed to be telling a story other than their life together had taught me. Forty-three years went by between the artifice of photographylove, at a standstill and the parched fingers, the striated nails, which isolated the woman who glued herself on a page and mailed it to me in a letter.

In the night. Where it whirls inside with a breath that burns the skin. Pain is why I sit here in the waiting room, doubting the day. Pain is my mother singing in the garden with a green scarf in her hair, a bird-of-paradise flower on her shoulder.  Too much to approach. Too empty to leave me whole.  And old French songs on the brown radio Grandmother gave away. It is a friend's prayer at dusk when his mourning doves were quiet and these would not leave the opened cage long after he was dead. Pain is your face as you undressed to seduce me; your eyes, pallid when morning comes and you have fed your passion to lingering ghosts.

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