Photography by Adrian Moens __________________________________________________________________________________
September 2nd, 2019
"Marie, and Juan" appears within Mervyn Taylor's sixth of eight books of poetry, The Waving Gallery (2014). His most recent collection, Country of Warm Snow, will be forthcoming in 2020.
In December of 2017, Adrian Moens and I visited with Taylor at his place in Flatbush, Brooklyn, just off of Prospect Park. During our time together, he filled us in on Dominican music, mainly, the bachata, and read "Marie, and Juan, " which appears below. The entire interview appears within Issue No. 2 - Autumn 2017.
- Isaac Myers III
"The bachata is really Dominican music, from Santa Domingo. So the point of the poem, “Marie, and Juan,” is the opportunity that Brooklyn provides for two people to get together who in their own country back home probably don’t get along."
Marie, and Juan
If he had remained in his country
and you in yours, you’d never
have danced like this
He would never have crossed
the border between the cane
not known your name.
Your memory of Trujillo
would have focused your eyes
on the sharp edge of a machete
and your cries in patois
would have brought your father
running, the old Boukman record
skipping on the gramophone. But
here you are, dancing a bachata
The step is fast,
the Zombie from the past
trying to keep up.