Posts Tagged ‘Poetry’

“Poem for a Gunman” – Soyini Ayanna Forde — Novel Niche: A Place for Books

May 16, 2018

I was quite thrilled to see my poem among those featured on #PuncheonandVetiver last month over at Novel Niche because “absolutely unmixed attention is prayer” and having someone dress the altar of your work so carefully is rare and it’s quite enjoyable to experience and also low-key strange but in a good way (talk about feeling writerly, oui). Being a writer also means being subject to criticism and I know not all of it would feel like this: ensconced in the celebratory month-long reflections of contemporary Caribbean writing.  

Sometimes, love takes you by the mouth. Both of them. Soyini Ayanna Forde‘s “Poem for a Gunman” tugs your underpinnings aside, curls urgency and sincerity upwards into your heart in slow, molasses-drugged strokes. The address of the poem is intimate, revelatory, confessional: we learn of a lover with “slow walk solid calf muscles nutmeg flesh […]

via “Poem for a Gunman” – Soyini Ayanna Forde — Novel Niche: A Place for Books

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For Women Who Are Difficult To Love

March 21, 2012

“You are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you . . .

you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.”

This feels like I’ve been looking for these words & knowing them almost all my life! Such beauty. Such achingly astute truth-telling.

In the Castle of Our Skins: Untitled

October 31, 2011

By: Tanya Marie Williams

Untitled

by Kim

Everyone called him Massa, my father says nonchalantly to me with eyes narrowing on the tight turn ahead of us,
he is talking about his father, my grandfather
the white plantation owner who raped my grandmother, a strong-jawed woman from Dominica.
This is how my history is transmitted to me, in fragments that ambush me every time I return to the land I call home,
mi abuela es de Venezuela, taken as a child by her father to become the property of his new family. My grandfather, son of indentured workers, a proud man, with a penchant for stoic silences.

I am from a stock that wields irons like hand grenades
mouths that unleash and inflict, leaving rings of fire that keep love away,
but make lovers stay. Yielding forgiveness, needing to nurture, heavy from field, house, hard, heartwork.
Scotch bonnet peppered speech, rich smells of island flowers reach and tug
and swing so gently from your heartstrings. We can see it now, you are falling in lust with us.

I am from a stock of full-bodied women, hips wise, eyes deep, young smiles
that belie the centuries that we live in each everlasting moment. Young smiles, playful and wild that belie the effortlessness with which we lie.
Lies that come far too easily, rolling off tongues, slipping into ears, coming hot
and hard, weightless, rocking like fucking on swings, like fingers intertwining.
Truth remaining only as whispers humming, as feelings lingering fading memories, like walking, waking, dreaming.

It is heartbreaking, that granny, my aunty, my mama, my women, heart first lept in, and then left him, heart withdrawn after time too long of hoping that tragedy don’t win, that penises stuffed in don’t just end up producing girl after girl destined to love unrequited.

(more…)

more words to live by…

October 18, 2011

won’t you celebrate with me

By: Lucille Clifton

won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
here on this bridge between
starshine and clay,
my one hand holding tight
my other hand; come celebrate
with me that everyday
something has tried to kill me
and has failed.

seen: poetic musings

May 28, 2011

Why Do So Few Blacks Study Creative Writing?

By: Cornelius Eady

Always the same, sweet hurt,
The understanding that settles in the eyes
Sooner or later, at the end of class,
In the silence pooling in the room.
Sooner or later it comes to this,

You stand face to face with your
Younger face and you have to answer
A student, a young woman this time,

And you’re alone in the class room
Or in your office, a day or so later,
And she has to know, if all music
Begins equal, why this poem of hers
Needed a passport, a glossary,

A disclaimer. It was as if I were…
What? Talking for the first time?
Giving yourself up? Away?
There are worlds, and there are worlds,
She reminds you. She needs to know
What’s wrong with me? and you want

To crowbar or spade her hurt
To the air. You want photosynthesis
To break it down to an organic language.
You want to shake I hear you
Into her ear, armor her life

With permission. Really, what
Can I say? That if she chooses
To remain here the term
Neighborhood will always have
A foreign stress, that there
Will always be the moment

The small, hard details
Of your life will be made
To circle their wagons?

bleeding. and ways to feed yourself with words.

July 18, 2009

a visiting writer read this poem today in a reading and panel discussion. and all i have to say about it is:

OMG

— yes, in all caps.

i was left feeling split open to the core in this strangely inexplicable way. i squirmed in my seat. it’s just such an incredibly profound poem on so many levels. it underscores the symbiotic fucked-up-ness of relationships, of life it seems.

if you haven’t, do read “bleeding” by may swenson here. gosh golly wow.

then there’s this, amazingly:

my dream about being white

by lucille clifton

hey music and
me
only white,
hair a flutter of
fall leaves
circling my perfect
line of a nose,
no lips,
no behind, hey
white me
and i’m wearing
white history
but there’s no future
in those clothes
so i take them off and
wake up
dancing.
 
read more about her here.

criteria: or why one should not become emotionally/romantically/sexually involved with particular individuals

December 14, 2008

1. shredded slivers of past lover’s heart are clearly embedded in spaces between teeth but person claims that this is chicken

2. you each have competing versions of what constitutes reality

3. people who know them look past you with hollow eyes when it is announced that you are indeed involved with this particular individual

4. people who know them are in fact excruciatingly and overwhelming nice, sweet and welcoming of you into the fold after having just met you only once, as though trying to make you steelier for some impending tragedy

5. person squirms a lot

 6. person just has way too many friends, whether of the opposite sex or not and is not reclusive enough

7. when things implode into the proverbial shit storm, you marvel at that irony that you can at long last place what that stench was

8. person has a long track record of exes that are never to be seen again, shrouded in a cloud of mystery and offers little or no details upon inquiry

9. person is never reciprocal—ever

10. person’s family members always strike you as being embroiled in some kind of vicious inner turmoil, as though they really long to tell you something but just, can’t

ramblings….ramblings…i’m a rambler…

March 4, 2008

recouping. regrouping. recovering.

recanting. revising. reminding….

reminding, reminding, reminding…

 

 

reiterating. rationalizing.

romanticizing. ruminating.

runny rheumy eyes.

recalcitrant me

rages against redundancy.

 

 

ode to carnival [and the self]

March 3, 2008

     a speckle of glitter hanging around a temple

arbitrarily

is swept away by a finger’s idle caress.

     the resurgence of a familiar bass-line

is a call to reminisce

over visions of sun-soaked bodies

moving rhythmically to the beat.

     this poem is filled with cliches

just like the bead-trimmed bikinis we donned

were we ever one?

or was this all an illusion?

     forlorn feathers

of a once coveted costume

lay withering in a corner

[under the bemused gaze of a daddy-long-legs]

yearning for its former hey-day.

     not breathless

not blazing

not waving anymore

but arms akimbo

holding steadfast to the promise

of the self contained within

and the promise of what’s yet to come.

forget this nostalgia

i am my own damn carnival

watch me play myself.