"The Viole(n)t Cat" by Dan Taulapapa McMullin

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May 24, 2022 

The Viole(n)t Cat

Dan Taulapapa McMullin

I hear you
Outside my winter studio
Moaning in the alley below my bedroom window
Calling for god the machine of all magics
All spells written on our bodies
All the right incense of rank summer
The flowers breaking through the confusion

You speak for all of us
By that I mean me
You speak for me myself and I
This morning tomorrow’s and
My midnight always now, moan for me
I moan full bridge
Field of lavender
The bridge to Olosega
White sand road and men’s voices
Beneath the road flows the sea between two islands
Lavender stream
The spirits of the sea
My lovers

Copyright © 2022 by Dan Taulapapa McMullin. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 24, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

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“I wrote this in a moment of insomnia, in bed on a snowy winter night, while a cat moaned in the alley; while remembering moments of my life in the South Pacific and the bridge between Olosega and Ofu islands, where the reef runs lavender and serene, and powerful currents drift and carry one far, far away.”
Dan Taulapapa McMullin

Dan Taulapapa McMullin is a Faʻafafine Sāmoa i Sasaʻe poet and the author of The Healer’s Wound: A Queer Theirstory of Polynesia (Puʻuhonua Society and Tropic Editions of Honolulu, 2022). Their art studio and writing practice is based in Hudson, New York, on Muhheaconneock lands, where they live with their partner, and in Hoboken, New Jersey, on Lenape lands.
The Healer’s Wound: A Queer Theirstory of Polynesia
(Puʻuhonua Society and Tropic Editions of Honolulu, 2022)


 
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Thanks to Brandy Nālani McDougall, author of The Salt-Wind: Ka Makani Pa‘Akai (Kuleana ‘Oiwi Press, 2008), who curated Poem-a-Day for this month’s weekdays. Listen to a Q&A about McDougall’s curatorial approach and find out more about our guest editors for the year
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