August 28, 2014
"Fallen" by Vievee Francis

But I was never there. Never
the light of my father’s eyes, or any
well-lit brother’s (that deep-husked choir).
There was no height from which to fall.
I began here in the proverbial
bottom: undertow, base from which
one may rise but briefly, like the failing horse
knowing it must now race, must tear
out of its rusted gate, must
further tear the pleuritic lining of its lungs,
allow its tongue to loll
     ugly from the side
of its mouth. Have you seen such a thing?
Its brown coat salted with sweat as it lunges
forward and lunges again, forcing its measure
not up but out, knowing its ankles could fold
under such weight, its nose opened
into another being, sucking and snorting
the only thing it takes within itself that does not judge
it, the air. The sweet, sweet air as it makes its way
around the curve that might kill it, that assuredly will
kill it. Do you see me there? Of course not.
I’m over here. Here.
In this hollow running for my low life. O Father,
for the light of a hand over my back. O Brothers,
for the gold leaf wreath that might have meant
a stroke of my neck, for that, I stretch these legs to breaking,
I wrench this belly’s hull, dark
as all alluvial things are. Lucifer’s
is a common story, a child’s bogeyman. What should frighten
you is this: Imagine what he would be had he not fallen,
had he never seen the elusive light at all, never been privy
to the cords of God’s neck, if he in fact, doubted
such things, believing only in what anguishes and writhes,
trusting nothing more than what soils his hands.

August 25, 2014

(Source: popsonnet)

August 21, 2014

elonjames:

Again. I’m not doing the writing that I should be but folks are out here collecting my words for me. It’s appreciated. 

(Source: harrysde)

August 18, 2014
"Or, to put it another way, as long as white Americans take refuge in their whiteness—for so long as they are unable to walk out of this most monstrous of traps—they will allow millions of people to be slaughtered in their name, and will be manipulated into and surrender themselves to what they will think of—and justify—as a racial war. They will never, so long as their whiteness puts so sinister a distance between themselves and their own experience and the experience of others, feel themselves sufficiently human, sufficiently worthwhile, to become responsible for themselves, their leaders, their country, their children, or their fate. They will perish (as we once put it in our black church) in their sins —that is, in their delusions. And this is happening, needless to say, already, all around us."

— James Baldwin, “An Open Letter to My Sister, Angela Y. Davis”

August 15, 2014
ALEXANDER WEHELIYE /// Claiming Humanity: A Black Critique of the Concept of Bare Life « ARCHIPELAGO | The Podcast Platform of the Funambulist

August 9, 2014
"IX" from Midsummer by Derek Walcott

It touches earth, that branched diviner’s rod
the lightning, like the swift note of a swallow on the staff
of four electric wires, while everything I read
or write goes on too long. Ah, to have
a tone colloquial and stiff,
the brevity of that short syllable, God,
all synthesis in one heraldic stroke,
like Li Po or a Chinese laundry mark! Walk
these hot streets, their signs a dusty backdrop stuck
to the maundering ego. The lines that jerk
into step do not fit any mold. More than time
keeps shifting. Language never fits geography
except when the earth and summer lightning rhyme.
When I was greener, I strained with a branch
to utter every tongue, language, and life at once.
More skillful now, I’m more dissatisfied.
They never align, nature and your
own nature. Too rapid the lightning’s shorthand,
too patient the sea repeatedly tearing up paper,
too frantic the wind unravelling the same knot,
too slow the stones crawling toward language every night.

August 8, 2014
"poetics, or what makes something poetry, for me, is not as much about where a line breaks or stays, as about where rhythm and a kind of tone science coalesce to create a unique universe I long to enter and know for the duration of the poem"

— Harmony Holiday

August 6, 2014
Chapbook section at Book Culture.

Chapbook section at Book Culture.

August 4, 2014
thestriversrow:

@carvenslissaint and @sirjoshbennett at #afterschool #thestriversrow #spokenword Photo by @Mara.castillo

thestriversrow:

@carvenslissaint and @sirjoshbennett at #afterschool #thestriversrow #spokenword Photo by @Mara.castillo

August 3, 2014
"I’m not laying blame. I do not blame Black men for what they are. I’m asking them to move beyond. I do not blame Black men; what I’m saying is, we have to take a new look at the ways in which we fight our joint oppression because if we don’t, we’re gonna be blowing each other up. We have to begin to redefine the terms of what woman is, what man is, how we relate to each other."

— Audre Lorde, “Revolutionary Hope: A Conversation Between Jmaes Baldwin and Audre Lorde”

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