THREE POEMS by Greg Fuchs

Pieces of the Sky

The wind, the water
Washed my home,
My people away,
My people wash far
Away my home.
Pieces of the sky.
The wind, the water
Took my home
Into the lake.
Home so fleeting
The pieces of the sky.
The wind and the water
Biblical lesson.
The lake came to visit
The river. The lake
Came to my house.
The wind and the water
So fleeting,
Pieces of the sky.


Mon Chère Bébé Créole

Those who listen & see, see all, little one
Bébé dances a dance of the innocents
To the cry of the fiddle & the Frenchman’s wail
On the breeze across the prairie over the marsh
Through time as if the song knew then
What we know now because the struggle is eternal
As the dark pool spreads into the waters of our people
Acolapissa, Alabama, Albanian, Apalachee, Atakapa,
Bantu, Chinese, Choctaw, Croatian, Cuban, English,
French, German, Haitian, Honduran, Houma, Irish,
Italian, Koasati, Kongo, Koroa, Mexican, Mugulasha,
Muskogee, Natchez, Ndongo, Nicaraugan, Ofo, Okelousa,
Opelousa, Ouachita, Pascagoula, Polish, Portuguese,
Quapaw, Quinipissa, Scots, Souchitioni, Sicilian, Spanish,
Taensa, Tangipahoa, Tawasa, Vietnamese, Washa, Yatasi,
The lady who sold shrimp from the back of her truck
In Bay St. Louis near our family’s home may never again
Sell these shrimp, delicious, flavor of Gulf water,
Freshly caught that morning, better than any shrimp
In the New York City marketplace: Ghetto fish monger,
Chinatown corner merchant, or upscale purveyor
Vanished is her livelihood, her contribution to cuisine & family
Barbeque Shrimp, Boiled Shrimp, Broiled Shrimp Hollandaise,
Butterfly Shrimp, Fried Shrimp, Fried Shrimp Po-boy,
Pompano en papillote, Shrimp & Artichoke Hearts,
Shrimp & Crab Okra Gumbo, Shrimp Étouffée, Shrimp Filé
Gumbo, Shrimp Remoulade, Shrimp Sauce Piquante (Creole),
Shrimp Saki, Shrimp Stew, Stuffed Mirlitons, Trout Marguery
Dark pools of liquidity began in the slave market
Rise from the sea floor a new dark pool of liquidity
Ominous presence of death to the land, fisheries, & wildlife
Those who listen & see, see all, little one
Dance a dance of the innocents, bébé ,
To the cry of the fiddle & the Frenchman’s wail


Oil Spill

Never thought it would come to this
Hurricane Katrina a quaint natural disaster
The face of this corporate horror is man
Made greed, greed made by man
The frogs still chirp in New Orleans
Then again the hurricane disaster was not wind
But shoddy workmanship & miscalculated engineering
So erupts this hell from a platform deep in the Gulf of Mexico
It has been Louisiana’s story from Chita the Lost Island,
Flaherty’s visibly stunning yet bewildering message of tranquility
Benignly coexisting with petrochemicals in the bayou
As I read the Secret World of Walter Anderson
To Lucas, only two years old, we understand the underlying sadness
Of that which is lost as we see the artist row his boat to Horn Island
To paint pelicans, shrimp, cattails, blackberries, pecans all soon to disappear



Through writing and photography I document the fragile and complicated interactions between institutions, land, media, and people. I create an expressive social documentary toward the advancement of democracy, freedom, and social justice. “The contest in art is regularly characterized, and trivialized, as a contest between forms of figuration and abstraction when the fundamental tension is actually between figure and ground—the figure of art/artist and the ground of society,” writes Declan McConagle, Director of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, in “Reflections On The Uncongenial Art of Leon Golub: A Foreward.” I have photographed and written about activists involved with anti-corporate globalization movements, Americans in public spaces, artists and writers in New York City, barrooms in Brooklyn and Philadelphia, boxers in Philadelphia and South Jersey, a fire festival held annually along the German Coast of southeast Louisiana, Philadelphia police officers, and a truck stop in New Jersey. Sites where the figure of art and artist interact with the ground of society. I disrupt the exclusionary tactics of art and media by positioning myself as a participant or collaborator with my subjects. In some cases I am part of the milieu, which I document. In others I try to instigate mutual understanding to negate the predatory nature of writing and photography by allowing the subject to present oneself within the page or photographic frame.


Greg Fuchs is the author of numerous books of poetry and is included in a variety of anthologies. His latest is Moving Pictures, soon to be published by Lew Gallery, a San Francisco-based small press. Fuchs has published many articles, editorials, essays, and interviews. Recently he has written an interview with Eileen Myles, a memorial of painter Michael Goldberg, and a brief history of University Woods Park in the Bronx. He is currently writing a series of poems located in the Morris Heights section of the Bronx, the legendary home of hip-hop. He is a member of Subpress publishing collective. He is co-editor of Open 24 Hours, which publishes poetry in the spirit of the mimeo-revolution of the 1960s. Fuchs serves as the President of the Board of Directors of the Poetry Project. He was born and raised in New Orleans, where he maintains strong roots through friends and family. Fuchs lives in the Bronx with his wife, the artist, Alison Collins, and their son, Lucas Raphael Collins-Fuchs.

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