Monique Roussel, 12/12/2010

Current Occupation: Producer
Former Occupation: ….
Contact Information: Monique Roussel is a Producer, writer and sometime radio talk show host on SiriusXM radio and WBAI 99.5 FM. She has been writing poetry (haiku) since the age of 6 and holds a Master of Arts in Creative Writing/English Literature/Poetry from New York University. Her work is slated to appear in the 2010 issues of The Conclave Literary Journal, The Naugatuck River Review, The Wilderness House Literary Review and The Psychic Meatloaf Journal of Contemporary Poetry, among others. She is also the recipient of 2010 Conclave Literary Journal Award for Poetry.


The Truth the Poet Can Tell

My father is a poet.
He composes sonnets
from behind the wheel of a schoolbus,
although he does not know they are sonnets.

His is the poetry of two wives:
one, a jezebel,
the second a nurse to his stroke.
It is the poetry of too much drink,
a shortness of breath,
then the grip of God’s hand about the throat,
and a falling.

Swaying in his busdriver’s seat like Keats in a reverie,
he sings the verses of his life like psalms,
prayers to the Roman Catholic God of damnation,
of the wagging calloused finger
that lifted his bloated carcass
into a silver wheelchair.

When he was taken in this way,
Mother told me to rejoice.
They wheeled him before my tender little body,
a crumpled figure in a plaid shirt,
his face moon-like with the ever present sag of remorse,
his hands and feet shackled to the rolling chair,
Aunt Irene standing beside him in a pale yellow dress
tall as a column,
her hair red as fire.

My father’s life is a poem,
large and aching as his hands after fixing an engine,
big and swelled,
bleeding and calloused as Christ’s.


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