Thursday, June 23, 2005

thursday june 23rd, 2005 - 2:57PM

so the trick has been to try to maintain the discipline developed at cave canem. i'm doing decently so far. i'm staying fairly well on task this week. today, i even set aside some time to practise my djembe and stuck to it fairly well. i'm going to write now and then go to the gym. First i'll show another poem from the cave canem week though. it is an ekphrastic poem (not sure if i spelled that correctly). gimme a week or so and i might even get some photos from cave canem up on the website or even on the journal. again, these are my first draft efforts...


I want to tell you
that I threw my babies
into the river

banded my belly
tight – until the ninth month
and on a hot June night

when everything was finally
quiet, I slipped out the back porch
headed down to the river
birthed them by my lonesome – twins
one boy, one girl.

I begged my God, His forgiveness
cut the cord and buried it
among the hyacinths
(the missus sure did like them flowers)
smothered their faces
and offered them to the current

I’m not so much sad
as relieved – Mr. Jim wondering
how come his seed won’t take
in me

I keep losing to that man –
my husband, my first two boys.
Since his wife dies
he don’t even think
he gotta hide no more

Sometimes middle of the day
he drag me off somewhere
and sweat all over me

so naw, no more losing.
Let Jim do what he will
I’ma sew me two bonnets
with their names on them
and give them to him
over breakfast

I want to see his face fall
all over his grits and eggs
I think, I hope - he hangs me

I named them right, too
tear his heart out slow
one pink bonnet, one blue

Jim, Jr.

I've also began reading Kwame Dawes' latest book, "midland". Dare i say this? i think it might be his best collection yet. Given the way i feel about Kwame's work, that means that it is so freakin' bad (not bad as in bad but bad as in good) that i don't know how to begin to understand that level of kung fu. If you have ever liked a poem or liked anyone's ability to make language dance as if each word were a marionette, then you will love this work - his praise poems, his love poems, his remembrances; everything. Everything is hallmarked with a brilliance and passion so precisely controlled that he sems to defy the rules of what one should do with a beast unleashed, because Kwame, at every turn - in the rempage or the taming, owns the beast...


Blogger Ivy said...

Wow. That poem's amazing.

12:03 AM  
Blogger Amanda Johnston said...

Wonderful work, Roger. As for the photos, will you be showing ALL of them? :-)


4:23 PM  
Blogger Mahogany L. Browne said...

that poem made my entire body go into convulsions... god -- it was that good and bad all at the same time.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you're still amazing. This is Leanice from Piscataway High; Just wanted to see how you were doing! I love the poem!

9:38 PM  
Anonymous Taylor Mali said...

Ekphrastic. Correct. Nice usage!

3:13 PM  

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