coyote logic

Coyote Logic is the title of Lisa Dominguez Abraham’s first book of poetry.
I’m pleased to note my painting Coytl – Urban Coyote is on the cover.

Lisa sent a personally inscribed copy to me, which I received yesterday. I read through some of it late last night and early this morning. Here is one of her wonderful poems. I share it with her permission.

Home Remedy by Lisa Dominguez Abraham

The wrinkled print of my mother’s grip
branded my arm when she pulled me,
a toddler, from boiling water I spilled
as I tried to touch steam
rising from the stove.
Years later she said I was still trouble,
refusing dresses and barrettes. Normal girls whispered
about boys—I yodeled to neighborhood dogs,
leading my pack through vacant lots
until the day my throat swelled with strep
so sore I confessed and opened
my mouth to my mom.
She drove me to the railyard,
to a boxcar with wheels rusted fast
and a trellis of bougainvillea.
Inside she whispered Spanish
to an old woman who braced her palm
against my forehead, angled a stick
past my tongue to dab thick salt paste
onto tonsils. Saliva trickled
like broth through constriction, a treatment
to cure strep and perhaps rinse
my voice to a gentler tone.
They listened to me breathe,
eyes narrow, waiting.


Lisa Dominguez Abraham’s poems have appeared in journals such as Southern Review, North American Reviewand Poetry East. Her collection Mata Hari Blows a Kiss won the 2016 Swan Scythe Chapbook Contest, and she is the featured writer in the Spring 2018 Suisun Valley Review. She teaches at Cosumnes River College.

Coyote Logic is published by Blue Oak Press


© All Rights Reserved by Monica Aissa Martinez

a drawing of the nervous system and a poem titled signal

I send a note to Kelly: Kind of spontaneous thinking…you mentioned once – maybe us working together on body stuff. Are you interested? I am working on the nervous system. It’s so beautiful! It feels like the hardest thing I think I’ve taken on.

Kelly responds: What a lovely surprise! I too remember that conversation we had, have thought back to it, intrigued by the possibility. So yes, perhaps this is a time to see what would turn out, turn up, emerge, your images and my words.

Today: Monica, here is, below, a poem, inspired by your nervous system art. I hope you like it! It’s been mind altering to think, even this small bit, about our bodies and how they work.

I love it Kelly. Thank you!


Nervous System – Female (posterior view)

 

Signal  by Kelly Nelson

Noises, plenty—

steady bass line of the heart, wheeze
and let go of the bellows, gasp

and trickle of your last meal
switchbacking your gut.

Yet when brain tells
hand to play the G above middle C,

when skin mentions
the stove is still hot,

it’s all nudge and nod, quiet
wink of the nervous system.

I want my messages heard.
At the intersection

of my left arm and rib
cage, place a herald with the voice

of Maya Angelou to recite the red
threads and bird wings that radiate

through me—Hear? She’s already begun.

 


Kelly Nelson is a poet and teacher.
She is the author of the chapbooks Rivers I Don’t Live By and
Who Was I To Say I Was Alive.
She lives in Tempe, Arizona & teaches Interdisciplinary Studies at Arizona State University.
More → Kelly Nelson

….and yes, we’ll be doing this again.