Outstretched

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I see you
At the most inopportune moments
Singing out loud, arms in the air, in mid laugh, weaving a tale
Larger than life
Like always

The sound of your voice
Envelopes me
When I really need it
Providing solace
Reminding me that I didn’t crumble
In spite of these epic losses

In the quiet, I am strengthened
By the knowledge that you’re still with me.
I wish that I was amazed by your influence
But I knew almost from the start
How much you would change me
Make me laugh, enhance my universe

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Writing a Wrong

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I absolutely love this King quote. I first encountered it while reading On Writing in undergrad (I think) and it quickly became one of my mottos. Reading for me, is the ultimate comfort. After my mother’s funeral I spent the weekend and much of the next week losing myself in the words of others. I think that the actual feeling of holding a physical book is one of the things that prevented me from reading e-books for so long.
I have often felt that it was my love of reading that stoked my love of writing. It fed my desire to emulate the authors and poets I admired. I didn’t want to write exactly like them but I wanted to create like them. Reading that quote was like a permission slip to continue reading as much as I wanted.
I have been reading quite a bit lately. Way more than I’ve been writing in fact because I’ve been writing so much for my courses. Reading allows me to escape as much as my writing does. It seems like the more I read the more I want to create my own worlds and hopefully those world’s will allow others to escape too.

That might just be wishful thinking

Magnolia

-For Billie Holiday

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Your voice carried this rasp
That modern technology cannot hide
It’s evident
When the opening lines of I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm, Strange Fruit or God Bless the Child drop
It startles us; and
We are all emotionally naked
Lain bare at the feet of such raw feelings
These songs couldn’t have been more
Expressive
Had you bled into them.

Now
You are celebrated,
They tell your stories,
Play your songs in commercials, and
Revere you as one of the greats.
And it only took 57 years after your death.
We wear that Southern flower in out hair in tribute.
Audra McDonald testifies at an altar on Broadway to your greatness.

You see
we are your legacy
Not just those who look like you
Or struggled like you
But everyone who loves music,
Who has a soul, who has ever felt
The world crumbling around them,
Or the need to lose themselves in the abyss.
For us,
You are a ray of light

You are more than history
You are the next breath
In a world where the stench occasionally causes you to want to hold it.

Yours

I think that this is a piece in progress. I’ve been working on it in my head since last week’s sentencing and the letters broke. I’m still toying with it so expect to see it in another form at a later date.

 

For all victims of sexual and gender based crimes.

 

woman

 

This will never be

controlled by you, no matter how many drinks I’ve consumed,

what I’m wearing or who else I’ve slept with.

You can’t comprehend

that I am more

than this S type body, this hair, and this flesh.

My womanhood

is so fucking awesome that your covetous eyes

can only see me one way.

I was born knowing that

my existence has been dictated by others since the rib.

So when I couldn’t be intelligent, strong willed or vote

I was still amazing.

And in spite of it all

I am strong, I can birth babies, bleed blood, slash tires and forget all about you

Long after your stares, hands and acts have tried to destroy me

I will still be here

I will still be mine

and

I will still dictate whether I can truly ever be yours.

 

Remember- Joy Harjo

Yesterday, my godson graduated from high school. A little over 18 years ago, he was one pound, six ounces of amazingness in an incubator. Over the years, we have laughed at the expanse of his mind. Of his desire to know more, to know why. My mother always said that must have inherited that trait from me. His mother says that all she did was carry him (and his brother) everything else is me.
While yesterday was a moment of joy, it was also one of sadness. We were missing my mom, so I brought her senior picture with me. That’s her in the corner; looking serene. This Harjo poem seemed fitting for the occasion and for reflection. Congratulations to all the members of the class of 2016.

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Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother’s, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.
Remember.