Sunday, September 21, 2008


by Jack Cartier

I am from tempting kitchen smells,
from the big oak tree
in the front yard, from
a family adorned with eyeglasses,
from soccer.

I am from French, my first language,
English, my second,
and now I begin to leap Spanish,
my third hurdle.

I am from books;
books that make me smart,
books that make me laugh,
books that make me think,
books that make me wonder.

I am from animals;
dinosaurs, pterosaurs, plesiosaurs;
dogs, wolves, dingoes, jackals;
snakes, crocodiles, lizards;
ostriches, owls, hornbills;
fish, kangaroos, and everything else.

I am from Bulungamayines,
plate tectonics,
the cosmos, the Big Bang,
Newton, da Vinci, Einstein, Flannery, Horner, Gould;

I am from the gouges by the speed bump
(which people don't seem to notice- that explains the dents)
from the smell of barbecues, birch trees,
asphalt and the neighbor's dog;
from the succulent taste of cookies,
the metallic tang of my retainer,
the all-important taste of spaghetti,
and from the sounds of the highway
and the subway, the freeway and
the roadway;
dogs' barks and squirrels' chatter.

I am from S** and L***,
my brother C****,
from are you done reading yet?
from are we there yet?
can we go now?
can't I come?
what, do I have to?
I am from different people,
from the tree-sitters at Cal
to the captains at the Port
to the beggars in the street
to the friends at school
to the neighbor's drums banging till 10:00
and to all the different people that
make my city.

That's me.


Anonymous said...

that is quite an ersatz collection of words you chose to describe sights, smells, impressions, origins. they convey a a complicated picture. thank you.

neverknight said...

I loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooove your poem, lol. It is really eloquent and elegant. You sound very intelligent too. The poem is sexy. =D

Anonymous said...

Your wonderful vocabulary enriches your poem. I love "...the succulent taste of cookies," followed by "The metallic tang of my retainer,..."