In the meantime, a local poet sent me a collection of their poems a few months ago for some feedback. They are a series of poems depicting life on Saipan from the point of view of the different people that call this place home.
This one struck me as especially powerful:
You can remember your father telling you how important this is:Anyone who knows me well knows that I hate poetry. Poetry was created by evil English teachers looking to torture students. As such, I'm probably not the best person to critique a poem.
[His voice, murmuring mutter, like slip-slop standing in the surf.]
Waves tugging the net strings from your fingers, reach up, throw, staggering with weight of wet and twisted rope.
This is what you need, he says, and this is who we are, fishermen, and this is who we will be.
How little he knows and how little you know,
because he does not stand at the shore--he sits at the pala-pala, crushed cans and coconut wine
making a sloppy buzzy circle, mingling with cracked, annato-stained styrofoam plates, with the ropes.
[More cans on the warped table, lined up ready.]
"It's culture," he mumbles into his chins, grinning, bleary, sweaty, smoky, at tanned and tumbling children tangled in the nets, catching nothing.
And soon you will pull a T-shirt, stiff with sweat and salt, over your head, go to school.
Stay quiet and stare at black and white pages.
[Close your eyes.]
The bell (the hammer against the pole), and [sigh] free again to be
like your father.
Anyone care to comment?
I had two stories published in the Saipan Tribune today. I reported on the Christmas Tree lighting event at Paseo de Marianas and on the Cleanup of Garapan with the USS Germantown and Garapan Elementary School.