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


conrad said...

Thanks Nick,

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.