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Darrel Alejandro Holnes -Panama/USA-


The difference between poetry and rhetoric is being ready to kill yourself instead of your children wrote Audre Lorde. I say this now to the mothers who sent their children north, risking their babies’ lives for a better living than chasing paper or running from lumberjacks on the streets. The difference between art and design is being ready to die for what you desire others to achieve through your work, hours of your life gone forever making a little, shiny, fragile thing, I write to the mothers who send their children north never knowing if they’ll make it but hoping that even if they don’t their creations might mean more than just because they moved, because they desired. So many are quick to dismiss desire as too general a word or this language as too simple to power the constant thrust towards betterment we call life, but poetry is sometimes made of such things, words used so often we take them for granted and forget their power is in how they unite existence despite the distance of complex specificities between any two living beings. In Spanish the word for power is the same as the word for can, one simple word banging the drum rhythm children’s soles make against the earth, po-der, po-der, po-der, the power of doing in each disyllabic step of metric feet moving us further and further away from the word being just rhetoric, into the structure of its design where we find the power to turn suicide into sacrifice, the power to turn beasts into man, and man into martyr or miracle. This is how we’re different, a desire path stretching seventeen hundred miles through an armed border wall, through electric barbed-wire fence, a surge surmounting all odds to rise across the northern plain; knowing this too is poetry.



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