February 8, 2012

Okla Elliott

I got my copy of the litmag roger in the mail yesterday.  I love that I’ve been around long enough that almost every litmag I get I know a person or two on the contributors’ list.  I was thrilled to find Okla Elliott on roger’s list.  I’ve been reading his short story collection From the Crooked Timber and enjoying the heck out of it.  Check it out, if you get a chance.  Here’s a poem from roger.

Near the Ocean

by Okla Elliott

Why should the world laud
our sweet-grieved lives?
We swim our own silly graves—
lonely and lovely as a naked acrobat, spread out
for her mother’s show

                                         Near the ocean, in Argentina,
a woman I wanted to love me
                                                       —if only for that winter—
explained the mercy of waves, the mercilessness
of the rock wall.
                               I asked Do we drink the wave
or the water? wanting to be profound,
which I have assumed women prefer.
She said Neither, it is saltwater.
We laughed but didn’t have sex.

I walked to my small apartment—
the whole way pursued
by brick alleyways, drowning thoughts,
the wicked taste of the ocean.

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