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Apr 6, 2020
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Tee

Home.Made.Mask.

Cut t-shirt. Bombay blue. Folded into length long enough to cover face. See CDC. Short enough to fold below ears. Rubber band is glue shielding me from calamity. Cut another one. Black. Calvin Klein repurposed. Underarm pocket cut free. No need for extra material holding inhales & exhales clotted with fog.

Apr 4, 2020
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Body Snatchers

Invasion (of). Body snatchers. An elderly woman. Large trash bag wrapped around her head shopping. Is she breathing? Corona tessellation six apart. Common sense. We’re waiting for it to reappear. April fools, twenty twenty.

Apr 3, 2020
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Final Notice

Note. Us.

Apr 3, 2020
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Body (BAG)

Double bottom. Six million. Unemployed.

We’re leaking (out). Whose body? Whose bag?

Times up.

Apr 2, 2020
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Vulnerable

Marie Laveau

I am neither creole nor a juju practitioner. But I keep a laminated prayer binder-clipped to my notes.

“benevolent Marie Laveau, who draws her strength from the Loas, i trust in your protecting love & strengthening power. in your kindness, give me the fortitude to confront the misfortunes i meet & the strength to overcome my weaknesses.”

What if my misfortune is a virus floating in an air pocket, waiting to hijack me home walking the dog? What if my weakness is a strength, my immune system raging in a cytokine storm fighting to keep me alive unwittingly taking the whole of me down instead? SOS immune system distress. What if I don’t make it back?

Apr 2, 2020
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Voodoo

Soap. Nothing to lose. Maybe there’s a poem in hear.

Mar 30, 2020
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Virus Detritus

Clean.

We thought we were.

Vinegar & water on the floor.

Baking soda streaks of bleach.

Is the virus leaking?

Out.

Mar 27, 2020
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Decay

I hold on as long as I can.

May 9, 2016
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AWP 16

The Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference I attended in Los Angeles has been over a month ago but I’m still talking about it to friends and family.  Particularly the story that I swear to goddess I am not embellishing, the story where I coached my shy extroverted me to find Claudia Rankine in a crowded room to introduce myself, the un-embellishment where she met my “thank you for your artistry” with a nod/a smile/& then a slight rub of my upper arm and said how she liked my shirt!  We later shared a quick chat on a bench after she signed CITIZEN; I briefly shared my own experiences at a graduate poetry seminar, how it was my night for critique, and the lily white room went dead SILENT.  She shook her head, knew all too well that it happens, partially the subject of her AWP16 keynote address.

And oh how proud I was of my good friend Aja Couchois Duncan who shared the podium in the joint reading that evening.  Me (I learned through a professional development marketing talk) the black shy extrovert sitting in the front row, even playing technician when poets didn’t know what to do with the mike.  This was my first AWP, and I was not prepared for the hella overwhelming 20,000 writers, publishers, and media blitz.  But I found my way with hugs and smiles from Cave Canem fellows, and pep talks from mentors Caroline Goodwin and Maxine Chernoff, and a wonderful evening supporting Aja’s work.

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Feb 3, 2013
Comments Off on Sister Soldier Speaks! is marching on… February 20th, UCSF Mt Zion 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Sister Soldier Speaks! is marching on… February 20th, UCSF Mt Zion 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Members of the 6888th Central Directory Battalion (CDDB), the military’s only unit of black women to serve overseas, pass in review during a parade, Birmingham, England 1945, Gladys Thomas Anderson Collection, Women’s Memorial Foundation Collection.

 

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