poetry talk


I had the brilliant idea that I would type out a couple of the poems I liked by Lynne Handy from her book, Spy Car and other poems. I thought I would make a sub directory in my Google drive for poems. Then I discovered that I had already done this and that there were many poems sitting in docs.

There were several poems that were unattributed. That struck me as odd. Then while reading one of them, I realized that I had to have written them since they were so obviously personal about my life. That’s an odd sensation.

I guess I keep on making stuff up, poetry and music.

Anyway, I finished another book of poetry this morning, In The Language of My Captor  by Shane McCrae. McCrae has written a series of poems about Jefferson Davis and his adopted mulatto son, Jim Limber. There are about 38 pages of them in this book under the general title, “Purgatory: A Memoir / A Son and a Father of Sons.”

Jefferson Davis did have an adopted son with the name, Jim Limber. McCrae wrote a few more of these after the book was published. I found them on his Poetry Foundation page.

Here’s a poem, I wrote in March 2009, one of those I stumbled across this morning.

My father’s pale eyes
look out from the plastic chair
that he is trapped in
so he won’t fall.

“I thought you were dead.”
He says to me.

time has left him
but it takes me
to a memory
of a little girl grabbing
my Dad’s knees
with relief.

“I thought you were dead,”
she says to him.


NYTimes: Answering Society’s Thorniest Questions, With Performance Art

This guy sounds excellent. I have interlibrary loaned William Wells Brown’s “The Escape” mentioned in this article.

The Heartbeat of Racism Is Denial – The New York Times

An article from January by my new hero, Ibrim X. Kendi.

Quotes from this article:

“A new vocabulary emerged, allowing users to evade admissions of racism. It still holds fast after all these years. The vocabulary list includes these: law and order. War on drugs. Model minority. Reverse discrimination. Race-neutral. Welfare queen. Handout. Tough on crime. Personal responsibility. Black-on-black crime. Achievement gap. No excuses. Race card. Colorblind. Post-racial. Illegal immigrant. Obamacare. War on Cops. Blue Lives Matter. All Lives Matter. Entitlements. Voter fraud. Economic anxiety.”

“Only racists say they are not racist. Only the racist lives by the heartbeat of denial.”

Poetry Magazine – Shared Article ‘Letter to My Father’

This poem has some wonderful images of Trump and his appearance in Puerto Rico. The poet is speaking to the ashes of his dead father:

“I know you are not God. I have the proof: seven pounds of ashes in a box
on my bookshelf. Gods do not die, and yet I want you to be God again.
Stride from the crowd to seize the president’s arm before another roll
of paper towels sails away. Thunder Spanish obscenities in his face.
Banish him to a roofless rainstorm in Utuado, so he unravels, one soaked
sheet after another, till there is nothing left but his cardboard heart.”

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