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Take a Ride on the Magic Poetry Bus


To commemorate National Poetry Month, SoCal story editor Saul Gonzalez interviews California’s newest poet laureate: Carol Muske-Dukes. Muske-Dukes is prepping to hit the California highways in a “Magic Bus,” full of poets who want to share their love for the written word with kids around the Golden State.


Carol Muske-Dukes recite William Shakespeare's Sonnet 116.



This is your passport I hold in my hand:

a hemisphere, half red ink, half blue—

as yet untorched by terror, but polluted

perhaps by the gaze of the future. For

example, the shadow of the parachute of

my desire, this rip-cord rip of your photo-

blink, your eyes translated into these

flashing sad idioms. Take this blank page

for the remainder, the last boring national

tattoos. Wave me through these invisible

brackets of lightning. Stars shatter on

the epaulets of all the uniforms, the hats

and coats of countries that no longer exist.

I wear your insignia, therefore I wear death’s

insignia. Which means that nothing can hurt me.

And with these wings and flames, I pledge

allegiance to nothing: I can go anywhere.

- Carol Muske-Dukes

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