Friday Aug 18

MorinEdward Edward Morin is a poet, translator, and song writer. His poems have been published in Hudson Review, Prairie Schooner, Michigan Quarterly Review and many other magazines. His co-translations of contemporary Chinese and Greek poems have appeared in Iowa Review, New Letters, TriQuarterly, Chariton Review, and Two Lines: A Journal of Translation. Collections of his poems include Labor Day at Walden Pond (1997) and The Dust of Our City (1978). Transportation: Hot Tunes and Blues from Motor City (1988) is a recorded album of his original songs. He has edited and, with Fang Dai and Dennis Ding, has co-translated an anthology, The Red Azalea: Chinese Poetry since the Cultural Revolution (U of Hawaii P, 1990). They have also co-translated a book length manuscript of poems by the contemporary Chinese Cai Qijiao. Other co-translation includes poems by the Greek Nobel Laureate Odysseus Elytis, published in New Letters and Chariton Review. Recent co-translation of poems by Arabic authors Yousef el Qedra and Diab Rabie have been published in The Dirty Goat, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, and in the anthology, which he co-edited, Before There Is Nowhere to Stand: Palestine/Israel: Poets Respond to the Struggle (Lost Horse Press, 2012).

 

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Testament

 

The patriarchal tale of Eden
strikes many post-modern eyes as flawed.
As go-between for the Snake, Eve lures
naïve Adam to taste the orange of ruin
and takes most of the rap for Man’s Fall.
 
Rather, from the beginning a reptile
resides as part of each human brain,
telling us to please only ourselves.
It shuns debates over tasks, waiting,
doing homework, playing well with others.
 
We rarely sense the snake in others
at checkout counters, in office buildings,
on soccer fields. To well-behaved folks
a whispered “Hell is other people!”
becomes a roar in bars and casinos.
 
Suppose I scorn convention, think myself
a marvel, write poems for weddings
and free drinks, lie drunk in the gutter,
kissed by Luna’s tender rays—my one care
to find the most schnapps for the least coin.
 
Reckless self-indulgence gives command
to the reptilian brain in me
and all who fall: addicted gamblers,
big bankers strong-arming governments,
the recruit who kills as he is told.