Lovely dinner party. Darling CASUALTIES and lean
sirloin DAMAGE of the COLLATERAL sort.
Extended my LETTER OF OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE
to the DESIRED INTERNAL AUDIENCE, reaching
DESIRED EFFECT and DESIRED PERCEPTION…
a lengthy and essential PLANNING PHASE,
down to our party’s seating chart where I perfectly
placed gentlemen to avoid a HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT…
showed great CONSTRAINT…CIVIL AFFAIRS.
A real CIVIL CENSORSHIP. Even when he dropped that MEGATON
WEAPON on me, coyly I promised:
wait until you taste the COUP DE MAIN!
He stayed! To think, nights ago I wished
DISENGAGEMENT. Following tonight, to the T,
I did as mother suggested: IDENTIFICATION, FRIEND OR FOE.
Turned out FRIEND…
(If you have found this, please stop reading now.)
We were FRIENDLY beneath the gazebo’s LATTICE…a LOW VISIBILITY
OPERATION, which is what my OVER-THE-HORIZON
RADAR was telling me. The INTERPRETABILITY of…
well, INITIAL ASSESSMENT, really…just MARGINAL INFORMATION,
I know. I promise more later. But, still
a truly really important POINT OF NO RETURN…
Stepped out to ASSESS this AREA
OF INFLUENCE, to admire together the ARCHITECTURE,
shared a DESIRED APPRECIATION of our
LAND that (fingers crossed!) we will build together…
* * * * * * * *
NOTE: Words and phrases in the poem are lifted from the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms.
Added: Thursday, January 4, 2018 / From "Look," (Graywolf Press, 2016). Used with permission.
Born in Istanbul to Iranian parents, Solmaz Sharif holds degrees from New York University and the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People. She is the author of the poetry collection Look (Graywolf Press, 2016), a finalist for the National Book Award. Her work has appeared in The New Republic, Poetry, The Kenyon Review, jubilat, Gulf Coast, Boston Review, Witness, and other publications. It has been recognized with a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, scholarships from NYU and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. The former managing director of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, she has also received an NEA fellowship and a Stegner Fellowship. In 2014, Sharif was awarded a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, as well as a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg fellowship. She is currently a lecturer at Stanford University. Please visit her website.
Solmaz Sharif is a Featured Poet for Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness 2018. Visit the festival information page for more details.