29 12 / 2012
"Wind whipped the tips of our ears and stole a plastic bag right out of Manny’s hand. He thought it was a sign and fished through our supplies until he pulled out a tight, fat roll of twine and three black plastic bags. We made kits: trash bags on strings. We ran, slipped, the knees of our dungarees all grass stained, we got up, ran, choked ourselves half to death with laughter, but we found speed, and our trash kits soared. We flew for an hour or so, until daylight fully buried itself into night and all the light sank back, except for the stars and toenail clipping of moon, and the kites disappeared, black on blackness. That’s when we let go, and our trash kites really soared —up and away, heavenward, like prayers, our hearts chasing after."
28 12 / 2012
"Heaven is a room without air,
tinier than you would expect.
Their harbors summarily discarded,
souls are smashed upon souls,
writhing, lit neon with overwhelms of holy.
Here names, crimes, and choices
are forgotten. There is only one door,
and the harried souls hurtle through,
bargain for space, pulse gleefully.
The fickle, traitorous heart is a need
no one misses. In heaven,
they keep one beating
in a cage, purely for show."
28 12 / 2012
Beneath the door, I could practically see
the wretched slither of tobacco and English Leather.
Hiding on the other side, I heard Mama giggle
through clenched teeth, which meant potential
husband sitting spitshined on our corduroy couch.
The needle hit that first groove and I wondered
why my mama had chose the blues,
wrong, Friday-angled, when it was hope
she needed. I pressed my ear against the door,
heard dual damp panting, the Murphy bed squeal,
the occasional directive,
the sexless clink of jelly jar glasses.
What drove me to listen on those nights"
when my mother let that fragrant man in,
banished me to the back of the apartment,
pretended she could shine above hurting?
I’d rest my ear against the cool wood all night
as she flipped through the 45s—
looking for Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder,
somebody blind this time,
something crawling on this knees toward love.
27 12 / 2012
"Listen, if you choose to believe nothing else that transpires here, believe this: your body does not have a soul; your soul has a body, and souls never, ever die."
21 12 / 2012
"In the beginning, people would say, ‘Do you regard yourself as a black writer, or as a writer?’ and they also used the word woman with it - woman writer. So at first I was glib and said I’m a black woman writer, because I understood that they were trying to suggest that I was ‘bigger’ than that, or better than that. I simply refused to accept their view of bigger and better. I really think the range of emotions and perceptions I have had access to as a black person and as a female person are greater than those of people who are neither. I really do. So it seems to me that my world did not shrink because I was a black female writer. It just got bigger."
21 12 / 2012
Black feminist thought is not simply an interest group advocating for powerful Black women, it is about seeing the world with a vision of liberation. At least it should be…
And, Toni Morrison is everything. She announces to the world that the very best, the most profound, the most beautiful and the deepest cutting words emerge from the embodied lives of Black women. What better license to write could there be?"