Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kathleen Flowers (1964-2009)

Kathleen Flowers was a bilingual teacher and acclaimed Santa Cruz poet. I was attracted to her verse by its warmth, beauty and bite. She died of a rare form of cancer on Easter Sunday. Adios, muchacha.

Before Surgery

I hurry up Laurent, steep hill
behind my house, before night
has fully fallen. Above me
the sky is a royal blue
belly slit by a sickle moon.
From this vista, the street lamps
string together the neighborhoods
of this coastal town.

Beyond winding avenues,
the Monterey Bay sleeps,
a black field lying silent.
In the cold deep, sea creatures
are eaten. Their bones,
picked clean, tumble and drift
across the ocean floor.

I like to think the spirit is freed
once the body dies, but it is this body
that allows such beauty, such exquisite
pain. I unzip my jacket, offer this malignancy
to the dark gulls, to the night.


From "Call it Gladness"
by Kathleen Flowers
Photo from poetry reading
at Bookshop Santa Cruz

2 comments:

Conrad's Library said...

Thanks Nick,
Conrad

Anonymous said...

There will be a celebration of Kathleen's life on what would have been her 45th birthday:

May 3

Progressive Baptist Church
517 Center Street
Santa Cruz

3:30 - 5:30
plus more time for open mike stories and reminiscences.