An Interview with Jackie Sheeler, Part 2
The second part of my interview with poet Jackie Sheeler is multimedia. Two poems from the excellent new collection, Earthquake Came to Harlem, plus video of her performing "The Scissors of My Mother" this past Friday night at The Bowery Poetry Club in New York and a second audio clip. It's full Sheeler immersion here at Modern Confessional.
Another Hallway Altar In The Projects
One haggard afternoon lifted its funeral skirts,
tucked a gradeschool girl underneath—
Now you see her. Now you don’t:
blood in the hallway again.
Custodian, bring out the homicide mop.
One minute of thrusting.
One busted windpipe, one
pale thimbleful of crackhead semen
(he needed to squeeze his dick into her so bad…)
Project shrines blossom overnight—
photographs and cheap dolls
flicker of votives over stained tiles,
a bloody mop beside the slop sink,
the perfume of ammonia in the air.
God made AIDS, and gave it to himself in Greenwich
Village, while examining holy germhood
through the eyes of his microscope self.
God made the ocean to sit beside
on the night he was bereft, seeking
comfort in the rhythms of his largeness.
God made the Trade Center
because he needed a place to watch the city
over good food late at night with rich companions
and a place to aim his flaming planes.
God sits beside me on the brownstone stoop,
with one hand on my face, one hand on a trigger.
He pulls up my blanket and slams shut a cell.
His love is everywhere, bright as radium,
potent as a payload.