I wanted to let you guys know what’s going on outside of my journalistic exploits. I just got a poem published in the Compass Rose, expect that to be released sometime in April! My poem is about poet Maya Angelou.
I was sitting on this one for a long time before I decided to submit it to publishers. Mostly because I was worried that it might appear as though I’m mocking one of our nation’s poet laureates. I’m not (really), I think it’s a frank and tender look at the woman who gave many black women a voice with own her words, mixed with a little “we need to laugh at our own seriousness sometimes.”
Should Maya Angelou Go Senile
Try not to be offended when she claims,
“I adore the sound of dandelion fluff
blackness dancing like a dervish
against the backdrop of a rainbow
that is my imagination.”
She will tell you that W.E.B. Dubois
would agree, adding,
“The conglomerate of blackness is
richly dichotomized.” She will repeat
Nod and smile when she tells you tales
of her nights with James Baldwin.
How she and “that black queen” threw
Molotov cocktails at Puerto Rican
“Did you know I once danced the can-can?”
Just say yes. Because this might be true.
“When my belly was flat and my arms
strong, I lifted the lid of my own coffin,
climbing right out of the ghetto.”
This might be true too.
Some nights she will sit alone
and murmur quietly how she never
knew about caged birds until now.
She’ll shake her head and tear up a bit.
Hold her hand.
Ask her to tell you, again,
what blackness means.