Eva Olsgard

CONTACT:
info@proptoolweapon.net

BIO:
Eva Olsgard is mid/west based writer, artist, and designer.  She experiences creativity as an organic process and works to precipitate dynamic change and personal transformation.  Her greatest lesson was imparted to her in a glance she exchanged with a humpback whale that nearly capsized her kayak in the midst of a thirty-mile open water crossing.  The word menschkeit came to mind.  In addition to lecturing, performing, and exhibiting internationally, Ms. Olsgard has pioneered award-winning programming for literary arts organizations like Young Chicago Authors, Literature for All of Us, and Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary where she currently directs the Creative Writing Program.  Her writing has either appeared or is forthcoming in:  Pinyon Review, Magma Poetry (UK), and Cobalt.  Her chapbook, extended relative, debuted at Elastic Arts Foundation’s 2004 festival, Slingshots: A Multimedia Expression.  Between Two Worlds, her prayer flags installation about the Chicago bioregion, was commissioned for the city’s Gross Park Sculpture Invitational. Her cubist poem, EYE DISCRIMINATE AGAINST GAZE (2005-present), launched on Myspace.com as an interactive “bust” and on T-shirts donned by acclaimed poets and authors worldwide provoking a global discussion about xenophobia, surveillance, and social media.  Ms. Olsgard holds a BA in Literature and Creative Writing from Bard College.

Poetry

Ángels de Oaxaca

Niñas know how to receive you.  They know what to make
of your spiked tail, tongue and ears.  Know that only the joy
of touching your many textures will dispel the delusion
of using your many colors to delineate a difference
between your horns and your wings.

Niñas know what a boon is.  When they beg, relations turn their backs.
At play- their gleeful cries reaching out to the very tips of their outstretched fingers-
or alone (their mouths still as winter, pacing her breath,
waiting out the first surges of an oncoming spring) they are alive
and small imperceptible delights seep into them,
enlivening the loving delight they find in themselves.

Niñas laugh when, up on a high shelf,
you are place to protect
your form from
their own careless play.
They know how you are built.
When the wind knocks you

                                       down,
 
                                       the wind
                                       knocked

                                      out of you
                                      releases your:

                                                            tail

                                                                        ears

                                                                                    wings

                                                                        horns

                                                            spiked

                                                tongue.

When this happens they will be the first to run to you, to see clearly
your bare outstretched arms.
Madres will call the gathering they perform penance, austerities
and Niñas will laugh, knowing
you are only a toy.
You persist to remind them.  It is their own hands,recreating themselves,
enlivening the loving delight they find in themselves.

Originally appeared in Pinyon Review


Braiding Crowns

stalks were purple
where they were not green

milk inside
bitter on our tongues

twists of yellow
buttered our noses

did that mean love
or looming children

pointed leaves
hidden in grass

sharper than thorns
white hairs

 Originally appeared in Linden Avenue Literary Review