SATURDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: SHARON SUZUKI-MARTINEZ

ssm author pic

By Sharon Suzuki-Martinez:


ONE HUNDRED BRIDGES

1.

One day
I gave myself a gift certificate
because who knows what I want?

One night
without thinking
I traded it for one hundred bridges.

2.

We turn the house upside-down
in search of our passports.

A century passes
before we find them in the pages
of our children.

3.

Too many bridges to cross.

Paths like rotting smiles, rat-kissed
tatters swinging loose
in the maw of some river god.

4.

It has always been this way–only
your voice carries me to the other side.


GOODBYE ISLAND

Then Marie said, “I’m in love with a man
who is an island.” Of course,

many of us had our doubts.
This did sound familiar.

We said, “Which of our legs
are you trying to pull?”

She stared at us like we were insects
from the future.

Our metaphysical existence
(vis-à-vis Marie)

grew negligible: tenuous, at best.
Further on down the road, we saw the man

for ourselves. We couldn’t help but
admire his thick vegetation,

his long languid beaches, his centuries
of blue-eyed solitude.

We desperately wanted to bear his young,
even the males among us.

Thus we engulfed
his shores with sweet lingering visits.

Soon, Marie saw the man
was no longer her own.

Sadly thereafter, she realized he never was.


“One Hundred Bridges” originally appeared in CURA and “Goodbye Island” originally appeared in Spooky Boyfriend. These poems appear here today with permission from the poet.


Sharon Suzuki-Martinez is the author of The Way of All Flux (New Rivers Press, 2012). She grew up in Hawaii and now lives in Tempe, Arizona where she created/curates the music/poetry website, The Poet’s Playlist and blogs about strange animals and the even stranger poet’s life at Sharon Planet.

Editor’s Note: Today’s poems are thinking poems. We are asked to slow down, to be present, and to really consider the ideas and imaginings the poet has carefully crafted for our contemplation. “One day / I gave myself a gift certificate / because who knows what I want?” “We turn the house upside-down / in search of our passports. // A century passes / before we find them in the pages / of our children.” I could read these lines again and again and meditate on the depths of their meaning.

In “Goodbye Island,” the poet pushes the boundaries of metaphor, painting us a picture of what a man might look like if he really were an island: “We couldn’t help but / admire his thick vegetation, // his long languid beaches, his centuries / of blue-eyed solitude.” As if this is not enough, she takes us a step further, deep into reflecting upon what it is to love a man who is an island: “Marie saw the man / was no longer her own. // Sadly thereafter, she realized he never was.”

Want to read more by Sharon Suzuki-Martinez?
The Poet’s Playlist
Sharon Planet

About Sivan Butler-Rotholz

Sivan is the Contributing Editor of the Saturday Poetry Series on As It Ought To Be and holds an MFA from Brooklyn College. She is a professor, writer, editor, comic artist, and attorney emerita. She is also the founder of Reviving Herstory. Sivan welcomes feedback, poetry submissions, and solicitations of her writing via email at sivan.sf [at] gmail [dot] com.
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5 Responses to SATURDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: SHARON SUZUKI-MARTINEZ

  1. Maya Elashi says:

    Finally! We picked different lines, here’s mine:

    ‘It has always been this way-only
    your voice carries me to the other side.’

    • Sivan Butler-Rotholz says:

      Funny, my friend Joanna (an amazing woman and a great writer and an all around inspiration) also chose this line. Great minds thinks alike!

  2. Sara says:

    I love this stretch: “We couldn’t help but/ admire his thick vegetation,/ his long languid beaches, his centuries/ of blue-eyed solitude.”

  3. mattytee says:

    These poems are amazing! The first stanza cracked me up. With much poetry I find myself struggling to find meaning. With these there is an apparent meaning but with much room to find deeper meaning or truth.

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