"window on my part-time employer in the one building that was once two" by Sheila Maldonado

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
July 14, 2021 

window on my part-time employer in the one building that was once two


Sheila Maldonado

i’m writing to the building of writing that is continually giving us the boot. writing alone can’t hold it up. i want to say writing created it, but it might have just assisted. and yet writing is its own building. writing extends the building. i’m from a long line of building extenders, a line that was broken. that line can be broken. it can be outlawed and driven out of town, the word finding refuge in the mountain, the mouth, the memory. it can be fired and replaced, a thread erased. it can’t all be put down. it rises up an ancestor told me. a few ancestors told me that. i will be an ancestor telling you to rise up. but as a present-day person I tend to lay there. i’ve been thrust from the building of letters, syllables, characters. they’re scattered and i lack the will to gather them. it is fine to lay among them. let them scramble. eventually i will get up and put them together again. it won’t be like i imagined. it will be.

immediate post-script
 
for a minute there, my keyboard stopped working. i was talking about letters and they wouldn’t come. i did not lay calmly. it was not a calm, it was a panic. i am wrong to say i could be so calm. i would fight for a while. i would fight to get back to the letter, to get back to the building, fight to make a new one.

Copyright © 2021 by Sheila Maldonado. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 14, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

Subscribe to the Poem-a-Day Podcast 

  

“I wrote this facing the current World Trade Center from a residency with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council on Governors Island in New York. I have worked in that new building as a freelancer for magazines and could see the island from the building when I was there. During the residency, I was working on a book I call bloodletters, which is about a narrator obsessed with the ancient Maya, creators of the first writing system of the Americas. For pictures from the project, type in ‘#ixtzib’ on Instagram. I was imagining an ancient scribe of that empire, a text worker in a temple there. I thought of a modern-day self, working in the production of words from this gleaming building of writing, a text worker in this current empire, far less spiritual, really not at all. I thought of those two scribes meeting in one body, in this Maya Empire State. I thought I was losing the impulse to write because I was losing people in my life that had to do with writing. While researching the Maya and their writing, I remembered I am from an indigenous impulse to write, to build, to create, a glorious, terrible impulse, and the destruction by which it always seems accompanied.” 
Sheila Maldonado

Sheila Maldonado is the author of the poetry collection, that’s what you get (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2021). Born in Brooklyn to Honduran parents, she teaches English for the City University of New York and lives in El Alto Manhattan.

that's what you get 
(Brooklyn Arts Press, 2021)

“Ars Poetica” by Orlando Ricardo Menes
read more
“Black bird, red wing” by Nickole Brown
read more

Thanks to R. Erica Doyle, author of proxy (Belladonna Books, 2013), who curated Poem-a-Day for this month’s weekdays. Watch a Q&A about Doyle’s curatorial approach and find out more about our guest editors for the year
This free, daily series is made possible by our readers. If you’re able, please consider donating to support this work. 
Become a monthly sustainer
join
Make a one-time gift
donate
From Our Sponsor
Copyright © 2021 The Academy of American Poets, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
The Academy of American Poets
75 Maiden Lane
St #901
New York, NY 10038

Add us to your address book


View this email in your browser

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Older messages

"Rememory" by Roya Marsh

Friday, July 16, 2021

is the sound of me thinking Facebook Twitter Instagram Support Poem-a-Day July 15, 2021 Rememory Roya Marsh is the sound of me thinking in a language stolen from my ancestors. I can't tell you who

Poems on Wandering, Hudson Valley Writers Center Reading, and more

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Support Poets.org July 13, 2021 Poems on Wandering Mid-summer inspires time spent wandering outdoors. Wonder and wander with these poems from Poets.org: “Wonder” by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge “Marshlands”

Summer Camp: Poems and Activities About Animals

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Themed poems, lesson plans, glossary terms, and more Facebook Twitter Instagram July 13, 2021 “You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” —Mary Oliver Animals offer poets a

from "The Laceration" by Dawn Lundy Martin

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

As if the tender body is. As if the will is tender. Facebook Twitter Instagram Support Poem-a-Day July 13, 2021 from “The Laceration” Dawn Lundy Martin As if the tender body is. As if the will is

"preface to a traffic stop: sound" by Randall Horton

Monday, July 12, 2021

i always thought sound was meant to indicate a kinda genuine, authentic Facebook Twitter Instagram Support Poem-a-Day July 12, 2021 preface to a traffic stop: sound Randall Horton i always thought

Amazon Shoppers Say These Sheets Are the Best

Monday, July 26, 2021

Amazon Shoppers Say These Sheets Are the Best Get the Magazine Real Simple Home Amazon Shoppers Say These Sheets Are the Best—and They Have 91000 Ratings See More » This Pressure Washer Is a Best

9x13 Lasagna Recipes

Monday, July 26, 2021

Lasagna Recipes Lasagna Recipes National Lasagna Day 17 Lasagna Recipes Your Family Will Never Get Tired Of Weeknight Casserole Recipes 40 Dinner Recipes They'll Love 20-Minute Weeknight Recipes 17

25 Under-$200 Furniture Pieces on Amazon

Monday, July 26, 2021

25 Under-$200 Furniture Pieces Get the Magazine Real Simple Daily Finds 25 Under-$200 Furniture Pieces Amazon Shoppers Say Are Worth Every Penny Read More » 7 Genius Organization Apps to Simplify Your

How do you like these Apples?

Monday, July 26, 2021

Check out 4 great deals on Apple gear Photo: Sarah Kobos YOUR GUIDE Wirecutter Deals Team An apple a day keeps the doctor away, so we thought we'd bring you four to help kickstart your week. Though

The Right Way to Choose Outdoor Plant Pots

Monday, July 26, 2021

Real Simple Shopping Nordstrom Discounted Tons of Clothing Ahead of Its Anniversary Sale—Including Top-Rated Activewear Shop Now » Yeti Just Released Its Best-Selling Cup in Tons of Vibrant New Colors

7.26.21 | 😝 The healing power of play (and how to do it!)

Monday, July 26, 2021

Start your day with something good. July 26, 2021 The more effective we are at nourishing ourselves, the more we can serve others without exhaustion or resentment. Warmly, AmyAnn Cadwell & THE GOOD

Yoga for Lower back

Monday, July 26, 2021

and the role of our feet. Happy Monday ! I hope that you are enjoying the summer holidays. I have been in pain with my lower back for a little bit of time now. Some of the most common reasons people

Daily Skimm: Tea and I are still on a lifelong hiatus

Monday, July 26, 2021

Skimm'd while texting with Olympian Sue Bird July 26, 2021 Read in Browser Texting with Sue Bird DailySkimm' Skimm'd while texting with Olympian Sue Bird Invite Friends Quote of the Day

"Give-Away Song" by Gwen Westerman

Monday, July 26, 2021

This is my give-away— / not because I don't want Facebook Twitter Instagram Support Poem-a-Day July 26, 2021 Give-Away Song Gwen Westerman This is my give-away— not because I don't want it

For Dr. Pimple Popper, less is more

Monday, July 26, 2021

BEST KOREAN SKINCARE PRODUCTS Here's How Dr. Pimple Popper Keeps Her Skin Bump-Free Twitter Is Coming for the Emmys After the Hairstyling in Black Is King Was Snubbed SPF and Sun Protection Myths