Saturday, November 7, 2009

Poetry Takes Us By Storm!!!

Wow. We have had massssssive issues surrounding technology this fall, which I don't wish to get into. Suffice to say, there has been a long delay and relatively small amount of students getting into the IPG site this fall, but I must remind myself that it's often about quality and not quantity -- because they are posting some work that is deep, honest, and risky. I am so proud of them, and it's been inspiring me to write, too.

Thank goodness, because I have a reading coming up downtown on Nov 21st, so I have to read something, and something new! So, here's something new. I am horrible at writing political poems, but have a lot to say to the concept of freedom right now. I was inspired by Brian, one of my students, and a poem he posted on IPG -- "Some Kind of Monster". I'm thinking of reading his poem with mine (or having someone else read it for him, or have video of him reading it himself to play there?), because they are so closely related. I read this poem of his last spring and it wasn't even on my mind when I began writing my own. I can't post his piece due to student privacy issues, but contact me via email and I can share part of it!

Oh, and I'm posting this because I want your feedback -- so give it to me! Tear it up, it's a first draft!


We, who have never been.

they call us free
but my heartbeat
contradicts the simile:
freedom is like an eagle
soaring upon the
crisp, November wind.
this has never been.
we live in meter and time,
rhythm and rhyme, and
off---beat sta – ca—to –
or a syncopation or simpatico
is always suspect.

tell me
about freedom

i want to hear the fiction
we paint on the backdrop
of our lives to cover up
the true background.

1865 to 2009 –
are we off that?

so we turn the cheek
to what we see
and retell the story
we’ve been trained with.
yet everyday a siren blares
pulling someone over;
the usual suspects.

everyday a block walked,
a stop and search,
tear you down because
you are young, black and
obviously dangerous.

what did you know and
when did you know it?
tell me about the first time
the dream had a crack in it,
had a rip and tear
that you just swear
you could overlook.

this dream deterred
has never been built
on a belief of equality,
just a borrowed billboard
slogan to help us buy
into our bigotry.

“miss, that’s racist!”
they say, without knowing
how deep the puncture
wound really goes.
our lungs are collapsing
as we search for breath
but pull in water and wool,
our eyes swollen from salt
that has never flavored
our own distaste
for another race.

1 comment:

Marla D said...

WOW. I am completely blown away by this poem. I want to make an attempt at writing a poem about freedom myself, but I usually shy away from the subject. I love this poem a LOT!! I need to read it again before I make suggestions, but I wanted to tell you that I was here and I read and you are an inspriation to me always.