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07.08.09

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Phaedra

Dog is My Co-Author: Santa Cruz poet Robert Sward and sidekick

Love Poem

Santa Cruz poet Robert Sward pens an homage to his adopted home.


--For Sandy Lydon

You want a sunrise? asks the poet,
I'll give you a sunrise. Eggplant cirrus clouds,
pinky smoky blue and gray,
pink, moss pink, pink nether flower
sunrise, sunrise
yellow white silicon chip
foghorn, windchime, no-color haze.

Sunrise sunrise
O City of Mystical Arts and Live Soup,
Antique bathhouse, casino
Riva Fish House,

A busload of German tourists
applauding (applaudieren!)
the sunrise.
clam chowder, O scrubbed blue light
melon balls and watermelon shooters,
arcade, pink neon, roller coaster heart-shaped mirror.

KA-BOOM! House begins to dance,
land moves in waves three and four feet high,
weight machines swaying, mirrors rattling,
a sidewalk of broken glass,
a street filled with jewels.
Loma Prieta, The Earthquake of the Dark Hill,
place, this place, always coming back from a disaster.
Natural beauty and unnatural events,
jazz, blues, canoes, tattoos,
I bow and give thanks to the muse,
Santa Cruz, O Santa Cruz!

--Robert Sward

A resident of Santa Cruz since 1985, Robert Sward has taught at Cornell University, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, UCSC and Cabrillo College. A Fulbright scholar and Guggenheim Fellow, he was chosen by Lucille Clifton to receive a Villa Montalvo Literary Arts Award.


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