Read+Write: 30 Days of PoetryRSS

18 April, 2018


by Luba Gawur

Defying Gravity
            (in New York City)

torpor of my feet
fossils of my future
flesh of my mothers, blood of my fathers
pulsing under pavement
hissing through the cracks
debris of my freedom
germs of my children
hissing through the cracks ...
o angel of mercy
angel of mercy
angel of mercy ...
el diablo-el diablo-el diablo ...
in this scar of
a heaving cityCityCITY .,.
rip off your masks
and hear ye
the wretched
ecstatically rotting
the wretched
falling and rising
and falling in this
o angelodiablo
wash me in the river
of salt and honey
bend me
spin me
to caverns
of singing stone
to the sleeping spiral
in my cells

“Defying Gravity” by Luba Gawur from Scraping the Sky. Crisis Chronicles Press, 2017. Used by permission of the author.
Luba Gawur was born in Cleveland of Ukrainian parents who immigrated to the United States in 1949 as postwar refugees. She studied at Kent State University and the University of Toronto. She has lived in Toronto, New York City, Prague and Kyiv, Ukraine. Having worked as a Slavic languages cataloger at the New York Public Library and Cleveland Public Library, she presently works as a translator. Gawur writes poetry in English and Ukrainian and translates poetry and prose into both languages. She lives in Kent.


“To make this process more difficult,” as poet Mark Irwin has written, crumple a sheet of paper. Uncrumple it, but don’t smooth it out, and then write a poem on it.

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Previous Posts

26April, 2017: Unkempt Sky

25April, 2017: Ariel

24April, 2017: Photograph

23April, 2017: bandung conference, 1955

22April, 2017: hail Harvey!

21April, 2017: Family in a Yard

20April, 2017: Climbed Steel

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READ + WRITE: 30 Days of Poetry is a collaboration between Cuyahoga County Public Library and poet Diane Kendig. Our thanks go to Diane and the poets of Northeast Ohio who allowed us to share their poetry.