Books
  • Furious Lullaby (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
    Furious Lullaby (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
  • Names Above Houses (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
    Names Above Houses (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry)
  • A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry
    A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry

  • Requiem for the Orchard (Akron Series in Poetry)
    Requiem for the Orchard (Akron Series in Poetry)

Anthologies

Oliver's work can also be found in the following anthologies.

  • Tilting the Continent: Southeast Asian American Writing
    Tilting the Continent: Southeast Asian American Writing
  • Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation
    Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation
  • Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond
    Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond
  • From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great
    From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great
Search
Online Poetry Journals

Oliver de la Paz’s Requiem for the Orchard is a love letter to memory and its ability to both sustain and shatter us beyond the “dust of ourselves,/ cold, decisive, and purely from the earth.” de la Paz renders in beautiful and exacting language the tenderness and ferocity of boyhood, alongside the enduring vulnerability of parenthood.  Out of such intimate recollection a generous wisdom blossoms.   

—Jon Pineda, author of
The Translator’s Diary

« NaPoWriMo April 5th | Main | NaPoWriMo April 3 »

NaPoWriMo April 4

Charging bayonet

 

                        Plate 359Eadward Muybridge

 

 

The man with the gun must be thinking, out there

is the center of his purpose. The grains of the gun's wood

 

snug against the hip-bone. Left arm cradling the long barrel

so that the tip with the affixed blade tilts upward. Heart-level.

 

Purpose breathes its long kiss into his ear. A breathless kiss

held so that the man's stomach cinches into a concave sack.

 

Love falls where the wind carries his body—in short

asthmatic huffs as the man's legs move him forward, left

 

right, left. All the while, the butt of the rifle presses against

his flesh. Spring air let into the studio pulls the dark velvet

 

curtains from their rods as the coffee cools. Just as casually

a knife, raised up against the black backdrop says "look."

 

The man's shadow shakes in the new light as his bayonet

halves the air, fits itself into the fissures of an imagined breastbone.

 

Purpose as close to the edge of the picture frame as an arm. Purpose

to fill the wound, half bloodied and hot. The urge of the rifle

 

slaps against his thigh.  Purpose as far as a country

where no memory can drive itself as deep as the hilt.

 

Reader Comments (1)

Hi, I posted your poem on the Best American Poetry blog because I loved it so much!
http://blog.bestamericanpoetry.com/the_best_american_poetry/2012/04/napowrimo-poems-day-4.html

I hope that's OK. If not, just me know, and I'll take it down.

Best, JLK
April 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Knox

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