I, Too-Langston Hughes

In honor of yesterday’s opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture and in light of last week’s killings and the unrest in Charlotte; I felt that it was appropriate to post this piece. The poem appeared on the back of  yesterday’s program at the NMAAHC opening activities. It is a bit sad that this poem is still as relevant today as when it was published in 1944/5.
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I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.
Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.
Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—
I, too, am America.

Impatiently Waiting

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In the words of the great philosopher Shawn Corey Carter, “I got no patience.” The above meme is a perfect depiction of me exhibiting patience. This is the absolute truth and I realize that it is quite possibly an incurable negative character trait. I am waiting for a final response for a workshop in January that I was super excited about applying to and possibly being accepted into. Anyway, the deadline was in June and I would have just written it off that I didn’t get accepted but they sent an email asking me to be patient.

This was my face when I read that:

veruca

In another life, I probably could have been Veruca. Well, the impatient bratty part of her personality. So here I am waiting for a follow up on a September 2nd email. As I write this post, it’s been nineteen days counting the weekends.I tapped my nails on my desk after writing those words because nineteen days is quite a bit of time to be patient.  Acceptance into this workshop would be such a blessing and I would be able to cross some things off of my literary travel list and consider it a belated birthday trip if necessary but the hard part is waiting. It would also allow me to focus more on some aspects of the story that was my thesis project. So I’m super excited about the possibility. Which means that I’ve found myself checking the website every day to see if any announcements have been made and I have forced myself to not continually look at my phone to see if an email has miraculously appeared.

I just really needed to vent because patience isn’t one of my virtues. So now I will go back to impatiently waiting for a final response.

Marge’s Shoes-Sylvia Ross

​This poem appears in the anthology, Red Indian Road West. I cannot tell you how much this poem touched me. I just finished a piece that I tried to imbue with some of the same real emotion and complexity attached to these words. Now I need to go back and rework that poem.  This is one of the reasons that poetry is so important to me. 

The first few years she wore them

I didn’t even notice the leather’s soft tan,
and the buckskin laces roughly looped.
By the time I paid attention, her feet
had already curved the shoes inward,
weather had toughened the soft leather,
and one lace had broken short.
Then I asked where she got those shoes
and she said from the Indian store
down in Mountain View.
 
Some other time, another year, I asked
the name of the Indian store
that sold handmade shoes like hers,
but she said it went out of business
and no store sold mocs with vodka
splatters and Yosemite dirt ground in
with a little tamale pie, so I couldn’t
buy shoes like hers anyway.
 
Last summer, laughing and crying
together, in the campground
at Lake Mendocino, on the night
before her youngest son’s wedding
while the men drank beer and talked
of politics and sports,
I told her how much I really, really liked
those old shoes of hers. So
she took them off and gave them to me.
 
Those beat-up, raggedy Kaibab moccasins
I wear are stained and worn rough
by hard years in my friend’s life.
I wear them when I need her courage. 

Platform, What More Can I Do? 

​I wrote some time ago that I wanted to get back to my craft books and establishing the type of writing commitment that my MFA instilled. The shot above includes a few of the books in my medium sized craft/writer collection. The Create Your Writer Platform book is one that I purchased as soon as it was released years ago when I was toying with the idea of starting a website. Needless to say, I decided against that idea and continued to blog because I love it.This was one of the books that I was so excited about getting because it came to my attention as I was wondering about platform and how to pull more traffic to the blog.  Seeing the book made me wonder if I should be doing more. 

More what? No idea. So instead of actually using the other craft books seen here to work on creating fiction, I have been taking advantage of the lull in creativity that the beginning of the semester brings and started looking through the book to see what else I should be doing. 

Well, number one is writing. But after that what else…I’ve already published more. I’ve increased my social media standing but I don’t Tweet, I haven’t linked my posts to Pinterest and I only use Facebook to connect with other readers and writers. I’m still exploring ideas but all I know is that I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing. 

Also, the mug in the pic is a new purchase from The Bookish Dreams, I love everything on her Society 6 page. Although this one is not as large as my normal super duper tea fix mugs, the bookworm message is so appropriate. 

The Invisible

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I wash your feet with my pride

Feed you my soul for dinner

While I feast on disappointment

and wash the dishes with my tears.

You taught me years ago,

That my existence was life support for you

These lessons are so ingrained in my brain

That I see them when I close my eyes at night.

 

I am staggering under the weight of being your doormat

I spent my nights as your mattress absorbing your dead skin cells

And grafting them onto my own.

I am balling up my emotions with the bed linen

Hoping to wash them clean with hot water

While you go about your day without seeing me.

Little Boy

This is a new piece that I created for  a class that I’m currently taking. It’s a short poem but I think that it manages to convey a lot. I’ve been experimenting a lot with different  poetic forms lately, this one is a Tanka, and I remembered that this is one of the  forms that I really love.

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Every single day

Is made right by you again

Every reason why

I smile, laugh, and cry is you

 

The Heat of Autumn- Jane Hirshfield 

The heat of autumn 

is different from the heat of summer.   

One ripens apples, the other turns them to cider.   

One is a dock you walk out on,   

the other the spine of a thin swimming horse 

and the river each day a full measure colder.   

A man with cancer leaves his wife for his lover. 

Before he goes she straightens his belts in the closet,   

rearranges the socks and sweaters inside the dresser 

by color. That’s autumn heat: 

her hand placing silver buckles with silver,   

gold buckles with gold, setting each   

on the hook it belongs on in a closet soon to be empty,   

and calling it pleasure.