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The Best of the Workshops Award Winner 2000
and An[o]ther by Norma Perfect

In order to keep up on the very latest and most cutting edge poetry available, EastWesterly Review periodically runs its own Best of the Workshops award contest. Winners receive $100 and a publication in EWR. This year's winner, Anasante So-me writes from her combined Japanese-American and Appalachian heritage--a triple Othering in the Capitalist mean-streets of suburban Silicon Valley where So-me was raised, the daughter of a prominent software engineer.

Norma Perfect continues her cycle from The Cantos of Victimization.


Why Every Poem Should Contain the Word "Poem"
by Anasante So-me

Like the bread of the word
and the ablation of the self-
like a poem these words we reflect
from the "o" to the "e" to the open--
my "o" (the resident word),
my flesh like milk, a struggle,
an essence: September
searching for the right season.

 

A Parsimony of Blackbirds
by Anasante So-me

Alive on this great field
a scattering blackbirds
caw into the sky
the shattered words
of a poem.

 


As I Sit Writing in this Café
by Norma Perfect

My Brothers and Sisters in Chiapas are dying
under a hail of bullets.
The Sign on the corner store reads "Help Wanted:
English Language Proficiency a Must," and I think
about the way the crow flies down the green
valley of my spiritual homeland, and I want to say,
"Hey! Gringo! Here's what I think of your English!"
But the words cling to my mouth like my spirit-father's
sarape clung to his dark mulatto frame.