The Malaysian born poet’s point of view

There are a lot of broken things in my life right now – computer, vaccum cleaner, mixer, dishes, dishwasher, fireplace, the bank, my heart…..and of course I am broke ….but in all this the song of the broken heart is joy! In my broken things, I find poetry! My friend Tristen gave me her old computer and I am back online. I don’t feel bad about poverty because as my husband assures me ‘it is a temporary cash flow problem’…indeed this is how immigrants in America make it – we persevere, we endure and we press on.

America is a great country, like the American born politicians and pastors like to say, but we, the immigrants, are who bring the fresh blood in to invigorate the economy and resuscitate the dying with the sheer poetry of our contributions. So a little poverty and the broken things, no longer affect me or frighten me as it once did….if in God we trust…

By the way, go to Janet Glovinsky’s art gallery and  look at this huge painting there …..she did not have my family in mind when she painted it…but it is a beautiful icon and contemporary symbol for our great nation of immigrants.

My editor told me a poor poet is an oxymoron and he is right! I made the other day, what my husband called ‘a poor man’s tiramisu’ to cheer up my son. He said, “wow, mom”. I felt like I had won the Nobel prize for literature.

Here is the recipe made from what was in the fridge:

Old bread but not too old, whipped cream from Thanksgiving frozen, thank God, so not fresh but not stale or  ‘off’, cinnamon, and powdered sugar. Cut into triangles , sprinkled with cocoa powder and powdered sugar on a pretty glass plate with a silver dessert fork from Walmart – the poet is made rich!

Last Sunday I was at this poetry event

with other poets and my cup runneth over. I met many of my poet friends who are family. They give me welcome….Veronica Patterson, Lynda LaRocca, Janet Glovinsky, Anita Jepsen Gilbert, Julie Cummings, Jen Bosveld and Gene Bradford….and many poets who bring home to me the great generosity and honesty that really is found among American poets and the poets of all nations.

Sometimes I think there out to be a panel of poets advising governments on the best course of action. We ought to hire soldier  poets – I know one, Major Jay Yancey  – to be on this committee to create  cross cultural communication and international relations. Of course I recommend myself for this committee and insist that we all be paid a living wage. It is a pity when like the German poet Rainer Marie Rilke we cannot afford our own work.

I hate the hypocrites – religious, political and corporate -who take art and poetry into their drawing rooms and lose all knowledge of the true passion of the heart, that walks and rests on the streets of the nations.

I’d stop blaming people in Washington by the way. I’ve begun to dislike the snippy, sarcastic speech of some American politicians. They are snuffing their brother and sister’s candle out so their own can shine. What school, bible or parent taught them that?


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