Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My Poem from BlackYard

On Saturday, I attended the first BlackYard event hosted by Toni Bee and Dexter Roberts. People from all around gathered to feast, perform and most importantly take in the Dexter’s new paintings. Toni encouraged people to share and write their thoughts about Dexter’s work, all of which was centered around the idea of race to one degree or another, some very obvious some slightly less so.

Much delicious food was to be had, followed by an open mic that closed the event. Both parts owe much to Toni and Dexter and to Deta Galloway, who did a great job contributing to both.

It was Deta's presence in particular that led to me to write and share this piece (given that I did a similar poem for her own holiday party/art show/community gathering last year). I cleaned it up and finally gave it a title this morning.

for Dexter Roberts

If we are all made of stories
the one fate worse than death

would be to be rumored out of life,
hear-said, false-testified,

cause of death repeated, disputed
from every angle, until your DNA

is broken up, categorized in given color,
until you can no longer tell

what their blocks built in the first place,
leaving the rest of us afraid

of holding tools to tell our tale,
becoming edited in the street.

Let us jump to another story,
though we’re afraid to even pull out our chutes.

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