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.
PASSPORT: A MANIFESTO
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