Patrick Rosal

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PATRICK ROSAL currently serves as inaugural Codirector of the Mellon-funded Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice at Rutgers-Camden, where he is a Professor of English. He is the author of five full-length poetry collections including the forthcoming The Last Thing: New and Selected Poems.  Brooklyn Antediluvian (2016), won the Academy of American Poets Lenore Marshall Prize for best book of poetry and was a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry. Previously, Boneshepherds (2011) was named a small press highlight by the National Book Critics Circle and a notable book by the Academy of American Poets. His collections have also been honored with the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award, Global Filipino Literary Award and the Asian American Writers Workshop Members' Choice Award.  His poems and essays have been published widely in journals and anthologies including The New York Times, Tin House, Drunken Boat, Poetry, New England Review, American Poetry Review, and The Best American Poetry among others. His work has been recognized by the annual Allen Ginsberg Awards, the James Hearst Poetry Prize, the Arts and Letters Prize, Best of the Net among others.  His invited readings and performances include several appearances at the Dodge Poetry Festival, the Stadler Center for Poetry, WordFest in Asheville, the poetry reading series at Georgia Tech, Poetry @ MIT, the Carr Reading Series at the University of Illinois, the Whitney Museum, Lincoln Center, Sarah Lawrence College, where he earned his MFA, and hundreds of other venues that span the United States, London, Buenos Aires, South Africa and the Philippines. Source

Despedida Ardiente

For Dale, Elizabeth, Stephen, J.D., Tori, and Cara

 

Dear feverless, dear poets, dear love-

sick ones, now cured, there are

bloodless battles

to be won. Stout your maw

with your finest curses. Yap

your demons to their proper graves. O,

meek weepers! Asymmetries! Be

kissed! Let the trash stack

in the kitchen. Keep your lover

a full day from work. O, sweet

neglect! O, nectarine! Those

bitter pits are meant

for more than nibbling. There is

a holy jump off. There is a funky

genesis. There is

a reason love and jive

kind of rhyme. You oblong fruit

not three days ripe, somewhere in you

lies the science of typhoons, a dream

of strings. O, dirty word! O, first murder!

(O, cocoa butter whiff

on a smoky bus!) There are theories

we’re made of mostly nothing

but motion. O,

gap-toothed guitar! O, sound hole!

You faraway drum. You slang-

mouthed blessing. You long

chime. You chamberless

sextet. Let me leave you

with a few last words: When

mad dogs break chains

to run at you, charge

back. Bare your very

teeth. No monster, I promise,

outruns you. Whack them on the ankle

with a stick. Chase the bastards

down. Listen—this vertigo, this

wreckage, this bad ballad

straining the thickest tendons of your legs—O,

darling sleepers, may you wake

in the middle of the night to strange

sounds. You champions

of laughter. All you have to do is speak

simply. Your business

is the truth. Your heart's 

catastrophe is just

a little of history’s 

twisted bulwark.

If there weren’t a sky

within your chest

worth breaking, believe

me, you

would have stopped

all this singing

by now.

Published:

2011

Length:

Regular

Literary Movements:

Contemporary

Anthology Years:

2022

Themes:

Ars Poetica

Faith & Hope

Music & Sports

Literary Devices:

Anaphora

a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences

Apostrophe

an exclamatory passage in a speech or poem addressed to a person (typically one who is dead or absent) or thing (typically one that is personified)

Epistolary

(of a literary work) in the form of letters

Imperative

an instruction or a command

Internal Rhyme

A rhyme involving a word in the middle of a line and another at the end of the line or in the middle of the next.

Metaphor

a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic