Featured Poet: Paula Billups

You know how some weeks the news cycle is just so wretched you stop listening for a while? Me too. Here’s to a better next week.

 

***

 

Page From a Modern Foxhole

 

Not that it keeps me lying awake, but are we laughing yet?
And what if there’s just that
unexpected way of laughing we used to have, before
so much went wrong and life roared up lashing its tail
ready to eat our happiness, our joy?
No, it’s all right – the world was always in the midst of
screaming off the rails, that’s not new,
But now we occupy a higher tower, we have to choose.
We have to tend to our own wounded day by day
And one of the things to do is to touch and smile
Just let someone see our eyes.
Isn’t it something when someone says “It’s okay”
And it isn’t and you know it’s just because they wish it?
Don’t you love them for that frail reed they offer you to hold?
Then wish it
Drop your coin into the mouth of the mask of the cipher,
the only armor ever devised for the child-sage —
behind it are these eyes without spite or pain
Peering through the mask prepared to speak this —
It’s okay
or nothing at all just as you like.

 

***

 

Paula Billups is an artist living and working between Boston and Berlin. She has most recently exhibited Berlin and Quedlinburg in Germany and at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg, where she collaborated with the poet Agnes Marton.

Ms. Billups has won top creative writing awards from the University of Texas and Texas Tech University. She holds an MFA in Creative Practice from the Transart Institute in Berlin, a BFA in Painting from the Lyme Academy in Connecticut, and a BA in English from UT Austin.

To learn more, visit her website at www.paulabillups.com (art) and tumblr at paulabillups.tumblr.com (poetry).

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