Fall 2011, Volume 11

Poetry by Millicent Borges Accardi


Clean like Spain.
First now
A City, soiled, no
Water enough to keep
For a whole resistance
To war.
How could mind–reaching
Exist with a long walk
To ruins, castles
A family dries dishes
Together, stops, pauses
Hidden to inhabit
Flowers of bumble bees
To mark up UNESCO city
Castles charm, menial
Women’s work this drying
Going through the wall of language.
Dishtowel, I ask you to stand
Like Spanish, like Czech like Russian,
So soft and pliable meant
For ordinary
Dishes dried in any language
This cloth I
So soft and pliable meant for. . .
I came here because it reminded
Me of you, more, I bought this
Because it reminded me.
Careful never helped
Anyone grow.
Too many words
The best I can do
Time I remember in ordinary
Objects. My mind works outside
Myself. It’s rough and more adaptable
Than the soul
Of just objects. I hear
The words so fine and delicate
So forgiving the soul
Of an object. Life lifted
Dish by dish by water
What can a kitchen tell?




BIO: Millicent Borges Accardi, a Portuguese-American poet, is the author of three books: Injuring Eternity (World Nouveau), Woman on a Shaky Bridge (Finishing Line Press chapbook), and Only More So (forthcoming Salmon Press, Ireland 2012). Accardi’s poetry has appeared in over 100 publications, including Nimrod, Tampa Review, New Letters and Wallace Stevens Journal as well as in Boomer Girls (Iowa Press) and Chopin with Cherries (Moonrise Press) anthologies. She has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the arts (NEA), the California Arts Council, Barbara Deming Foundation, Canto Mundo, and Formby at the Special Collections Library at Texas Tech. Her work has received three Pushcart nominations. Her theater and book reviews can be found in print and online. She received degrees in English and literature from CSULB and a masters in professional writing from USC and works as a freelance writer (remotely from her home office in Topanga).