Elizabeth Soto is the Executive Director of Youth Speaks Hawai?i. She has worked in archaeology, construction, and poetry. She is currently tossing her time between her work in construction, the youth poetry movement, her own performance poetry, and taking classes at the University of Hawai?i at M?noa. She lives with her son, two dogs, and a cat in Kailua, Hawai?i. You can catch up with her at lyzsoto.blogspot.com.
By Elizabeth Soto • 2010 • $14
Designed by Michelle Saoit
Elizabeth Soto’s is a beautiful elegy to an artist who suffered schizophrenia, as well as an examination of mental illness and suicide. It is also a love poem. “What do I remember?” she asks; what she finds are pieces puzzled together in collage form to make, if not a whole, then an evocation of events and emotions associated with schizophrenia. “I remember he was terrified of everything,” she answers. Once a student of archaeology, Soto is able to peel back layers of feeling without flinching, offering the reader a poem that works both on the page and in performance.
but so much noise there was no end to the chatter between
engines clack clacking belts and pulleys feet walking talking
talking through vocal corded mouths radio wireless television
no end no end noendnoendnoend to this new tongue
he had not been there he did not know native no langue no
franca no knowledge no friends saying you matter to some
part of the universe this part here today now you matter
and someone is telling you even if you can’t understand any
part of anything they are saying whispering in your deaf
ears something will ebb through something will translate
something will make sense someday you will hear you will
know what they are saying behind closed doors walled rooms
wrapping padlocked and captured
Read more about Soto’s work on the TinFish Editor’s Blog.