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Journal of Ordinary Thought - Fall 2005

In reading this edition of The Journal of Ordinary Thought, you will find its writers' thoughts on generation. They are, Luis J. Rodriguez writes in the foreword, the "inheritances of imaginations, gifts, capacities, poetics and dreams." There is the gentle advice of past generations, as in Radmila Luni?'s lovely poem, "Message to Nesa": "Let the dreams and strength of your youth / help turn the wheel of life whenever necessary. / Heed the words of your mother and father / and always take pride in their legacy." Luni?'s entry is, as are many others, given in a dazzling, side by side Serbian and English. Mayi Ojisua's "The Gratitude (Libation)" is also a standout that speaks tenderly to the young: "Call the heavens what you like / there is always a roof of doubt / in our gentle dreams / Be grateful for yesterday, / be grateful for today / be grateful for tomorrow." You read of regret, as in a poem I especially enjoyed, Khadijah's, "I was too late": "I wrote a poem for you / to say how much / I love you. / To tell you that I share in your grief. / But / before I could give it to you / you died. / and no one writes poems / for me." But it is the quiet hope of Keisha Nielson's essay, "If I die tomorrow" that spoke most delicately to me. "So," she writes, "if I die tomorrow, I hope that I am missed. I also hope that if I die tomorrow, people will look back on their relationships with me and smile. I hope people will have seen my beauty." This is, I think, a universal hope, and it is captured here, along with the memory and longing of inheritance.
[www.jot.org] —Terri Denton

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Review Posted on May 31, 2006
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