One Poem by tanner menard


This book wasn’t done because I wanted to take the easy way out
                                              I wanted to write a meditation manual but I voided that idea
I wanted to tell you about the suffering I had endured in a way
                                    Because how can I capitalize on something eternal not that poetry
Was easy for me. That was obscure in the way that John
                             Can erase the barbarism of painting a line in blood throwing babies
Cage evaded the age of anxiety. So I will be clear. I will measure
                                                                        The sort of despair that my family had endured
My heart. I don’t know what the dog god is called so I look them up
                                                                              Forced into hiding the victims of a genocide
Let me find my Anubis outfit or my meditation position
                                                                                     Scrubbed not so much like a kitchen sink
A head free of clutter a steady ticker lacking fear my nostrils clenched
                                                      But like a head free of a scalp like a bone free of muscle
This side & that like weights seeking the feeling that body is programmed
                                                           A people free only in the sense that those who remain
Know safety. In the mornings I have learned to meditate
                                              Remain liberated of all identity liberated of an eternal unity
If I want to move I must do yoga then later walk or do more yoga
                                                   Liberated of a cosmology so ancient that no human living
                                                                                                         in a modern society            

Because breathing is not easy for me. When a man called REDACTED Blue or red can fully understand the significance Does the raping & not the justice. When he crushes your shoulder The underlying unity of spirit & matter. Spirit & matter                          With a
spirit that he leaves like teeth in your life then breathing The pale blue  judgment.  A   being   emerging   from   primal   energy   Must   be
earned morning by morning moment by moment From primal jazz. From   primal   intonation   of     the     bone     When   a   man     named
REDACTED manipulates   you   sexually   at   13  &  you  gain    Before trumpets we had eagles before eagles were forms Nothing but two hundred & fifty pounds by 15 to go from exactly That a so-called civilized being would call monster 430 pounds to 190 pounds in a year in a half because you want to love We worshipped the transformation of form which had not fractured Yourself but you do not love yourself for many many more years

   The French brought us a flower I saw it on the wall
                                                                                       of a not
Only around the time that you are shot in a corner
store & cannot
                      So ancient church in the so-called French
                                                                        Quarter where I
Walk. When you learn the meaning of humility on
the earth
                      Grasp the totality of their dominion where
                                                                                     they seize
Puking your guts out & being told how to be a man
by men who often
                     The essence of life into stone into a symbol
                                                                  into swords & coins
Suffered worse fates who conformed to something
ancient & altered
                           & cups & batons. Before the French were
                        an ancient people who were not destroyed
By a military invasion. When you learn about the
rapes of your grandmothers
                        Who divined the changes with a staff. Who
                                                              were forced by soldiers
Your grandmother’s grandmothers. When you yearn
for light & you work
                               To the garden lands of Oklahoma where
                                                                             they were forced
Your ass off giving away all that is secure to see a
light within
                                    Into concentration camps now called
                                          reservations who know the words
Something that looks like yourself & you are told
chose between man
                          The directions the secrets of the land where
                                                                  my family now resides
&   woman.   You   have   one   moment.   When   all  you
want is for a few words

    The modern version of my tribe has
                   pieced together the saplings

To be spoken in a sleeping language
&   you are David.   You have   exactly

   Trees that dance in the humid breeze
                             & we say with certainty

Rock   &   you realize   that your veins
are solid. I have been crushed & been

              That we are alive today. That we
                       breathe even with difficulty 

A skipping record melting in the heat
the pitch lowering.

Hypnagogic acid trip
         The true teachings are alive but we
must search often we must end      

This   book   wasn’t   done because we
live in desperate times & people want

              Notions. We must end notions of
            ourselves that were imposed by a

Poetry.   I want beauty I want to share
my love with you.   I  don’t know how
long I will walk        

             & we must use our last breath we
must wheeze our way                      

On this earth. I want to give you all
my love. It is all that I have

tanner menard is a Q2S, non-binary poet & composer whose work embodies their Creole/Acadian/NDN lineage. Poems are their method of survival, a linguistic medicine of ambiguity which is certain that love prevails. As a composer of experimental music, menard has been published & anthologized internationally on labels such as Full Spectrum Records, Rural Colours, Tokyo Droning, Install, Slow Flow Rec, H.L.M., Archaic Horizon, Kafua Records, & Milieu Music. Their recent album/chapbook collaboration with Andrew Weathers was published on Full Spectrum Records. menard’s poetry & essays have been published in The Squawkback, Rabbit & Rose, Cloudthroat, The University of Arizona Poetry Center Blog, Red Ink Magazine, & The Mockingheart Review, American Indian Culture and Research Journal at UCLA, & The Wire Magazine. Their poem “see eye my memory my” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Cloudthroat. menard is a member of the Atakapa-Ishak Nation of Southwest Louisiana & Southeast Texas & resides in Tempe, Arizona.