#NationalPoetryMonth 10/30

We’re everyone. We have ideas and vaginas,
history and clothes and a mother. Portrait-ready
American Blues. Palm trees and back issues
of Jet, pink lotion, gin on ice, zebras, fig lipstick.
One day we learned to migrate. One day we studied
Mamma making her face. Bright new brown, scent of Nana
and cinnamon. Shadows of husbands and vineyards,
records curated to our allure, incense, unconcern.

from “We Don’t Know When We Were Opened (Or, The Origin of the Universe)”

Today’s read: There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker – Tin House Books – 2017

This may be the most political collection I have read this whole month. I welcome it because the politic is totally entrenched in the speaker’s experience which is black, woman, hip-hop, blatant, rhythmic, abounding.

I appreciate the fact that this collection is not written for me. Poetry as code sets me up as an audience member that can only view from a predetermined distance, a vantage point that I can engage the work as work. This field of engagement took me out of the anxiety of the pandemic because I was not trying to attach my meaning to these poems. These poems were dangerous, overwhelming, and stressful all on their own. Unique as the voice that also finds the resolve, humor, and music to navigate through that politic.

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