Poetry from Steve Bloom


Tribute to Marilyn Buck

On November 13, 2010, a memorial meeting for Marilyn Buck, former political prisoner and poet, took place in the space that was once known as the "Audubon Ballroom," New York City.

By Marilyn Buck

Moon Bereft

Beyond razor wired walls
the moon shimmers in the late summer sky
spills over in pale brightness
to draw me into its fullness
washing my eyes in quicksilver
now, in a heavy-lidded cell
moon bereft nights leave me weeping
tears well up in dry cratered wounds
despair rises
dark and irradiated
to swallow starlight
and spit it out
like steel needles
that incite my loneliness
my soul careens off cell walls
waits till pain tires
and the pale moon of memory
appears to call me home
July 1990


By Steve Bloom 


Remembering Marilyn Buck


"A sadness too deep for words"


     These are words I write down,

     on the back of my program,

     to describe the sadness I am feeling

     a bit more than half-way

     through the evening.


"In a heavy-lidded cell

moon-bereft nights leave me weeping."


     These are words Marilyn writes down,

     in her poem, to describe the sadness

     she is feeling one dark-of-July in 1990.


How many have had to explain

the ways in which a choice

to fight for justice leaves us weeping?


     Yet those who live and love as

     Marilyn Buck lived and loved know

     there is a purgatory even worse

     than this: that waterfall

     of tears shed by all those

     who choose not to fight.


"They call me an enemy of the state

so I know I must be doing something right"


     A choice, made once and

     never questioned-not even

     in the darkest of times.


If Giuseppi Verdi were alive,

I think to myself, he might

write an opera worthy of this

libretto. For hours passed

listening to one of his

constitutes the sole experience

I can think of comparable

to what is happening to me

now, here, this evening.


     Still, let us remind ourselves,

     only Marilyn Buck could

     have written the life

     which she has left to us.


After her release, those closely

connected describe a woman intent

on devouring everything

in the final few weeks of life

which she has left to her.


     And so we comprehend: thirty years

     behind prison bars could not devour

     this living spirit. Chalk-up one more victory

     for a living spirit over that which some

     still have the arrogance to call "freedom."

     She who believed in freedom

     let her rest.


"They call me an enemy of the state

so I know I must be doing something right"


     And we know it too:

     an entire ballroom-full

     of people who, during

     two and one-half hours

     of tribute by her friends,

     by her comrades, by her

     family, reconfirm

     the ways in which each

     and every human

     being becomes family

     in the presence

     of a living spirit.


Marilyn Buckpresente!


Marilyn Buckpresente!


     Marilyn Buck

          siempre presente!



November, 2010