“The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power.” -Toni Morrison
As a young girl, my mother had to chose what utilities she would keep on and which ones she would let go to keep my sister, brother and I fed and clothed. Phone service NEVER made the “stay on” list and gas service was optional during summer months. Cable television was not discussed in my home because we only had two televisions and they were black and white. (yes, color televisions were available and no I won’t tell the year or my age). My escape was reading. The easiest series of books to find in sequential collections at thrift stores at the time were the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. And I read them all! Continue reading a Higher Re-Education Program (Writer’s Edition)
The merlot on my tongue
won’t allow me to speak.
I stain my pillow with attached prayers of something
betwixt the Ghana of my mane.
I walk with a cane looped to my belt to beat a fall
design distance from cerebral lessons
I wear tight shoes to ensure carefully calculated steps
and disavow chances and dances with love.
taken from the book:
Get your autographed copy here
After the fall storm
comes a rainbow and the smiles
stay / don’t hide from us
Laugh at what they taught
hear my verbs and protect us
be father to all.
Stop gambling your seeds
for a night to feel human
let divineness shine.
Open / not enter
love your womb and its’ future
don’t be forgotten.
I preserve my world
in journals so my children
can eat without me.
like rusted barbwire
nothing gets past me
nothing can get through to me
but your mixtures of smiles and advice
and now, that can only touch me through rain / Mama I miss you
my doubt outruns ruined panty hose
going back and forth like a father to work / a mother to prayer
Write a song for yourself
one that can march
when your walk is crooked
and your back is misguided
A song of allegiance
that can speak
when your twisted tongue is to capacity with
blues and sours and thorns
A song that pledges allegiance
to bodies that abandon couches and beds
but comfort the concrete slabs of
Oakland / Ferguson / Baltimore / New York
Blow the horn
Live to tell
Rebel Continue reading Allegiance, a poem for “Rebel”
moon face full of stars.
little woman / soft voice with cursive connotations.
and universe hugging
woman of literature.
my love for her is beyond words.
adoring / fond / attached like a new lover.
even though she is associated with the black arts movement, she is one of those artists who have walked through hip hop with us. her words have survived the linguistic flips and inspire/challenge writers today. she joined blues music with her poetic styles of tanka and haiku. she is the key of b sharp.
she is award winning and legendary and highly sought after for lecturing on women’s rights and literary topics.
I am writing this as if everyone knows where she was born and who she was married to and how many books she has, etc. if you don’t know… look her up and land in love with poetry and prose. over. and over. again.
sonia sanchez, one of the reasons I have realized/actualized I must write.
She say for her family
she do what she can
when in reality it be for her man
who wants another mother like her son
so she wipe both they asses / and then her tears cause it be from the same shit
too tired more / more tired than / her mother who
taught her how to stay
who lived and died the same way
the palm reader etched on her palm.
now that she know,
she can remain calm
when he comes to bed
smelling like fuck nut and dried saliva
he’ll say it’s all in her head
so she close her eyes and have nightmares
of forever being a fool.
from the poetry book, Pocket Honey Wind & Hips
This poem is from the book “Pocket Honey, Wind & Hips” available for purchase on Amazon.