For the love of words. And the freedom to love.

bettsxr-dwayne-betts

Photo by H. Darr Beiser. Photo by Rachel Eliza Griffiths!

About his being locked up as an “adult” as a 16 year old in a men’s prison.

dwayne-betts

Photo by Gesi Schilling.

“For you: anthophilous, lover of flowers”

BY REGINALD DWAYNE BETTS

.
For you: anthophilous, lover of flowers,
green roses, chrysanthemums, lilies: retrophilia,
philocaly, philomath, sarcophilous—all this love,
of the past, of beauty, of knowledge, of flesh; this is
catalogue & counter: philalethist, negrophile, neophile.
A negro man walks down the street, taps Newport
out against a brick wall & stares at you. Love
that: lygophilia, lithophilous. Be amongst stones,
amongst darkness. We are glass house. Philopornist,
philotechnical. Why not worship the demimonde?
Love that—a corner room, whatever is not there,
all the clutter you keep secret. Palaeophile,
ornithophilous: you, antiquarian, pollinated by birds.
All this a way to dream green rose petals on the bed you love;
petrophilous, stigmatophilia: live near rocks, tattoo hurt;
for you topophilia: what place do you love? All these words
for love (for you), all these ways to say believe
in symphily, to say let us live near each other.
.
.
About his being locked up as an “adult” as a 16 year old in a men’s prison.
.
.
Tax cuts mean less time to read, fewer hours of access per month in the prison library- no they can’t go every day. Please.
Your tax cuts take humanity away from other persons.
.
Your tax cuts mean no time for therapy, no time to prepare for the living world, no time to better yourself, no strength to stay away, no better neighbourhood to return to, no vote. No voice.
.
And yes, everyone deserves to be heard, even if you sold coke or weed (that’s what the majority of black men are in prison for) or killed someone or defrauded thousands of people or paid your employees too little. They are people.
.
You have done wrong. Everybody has skeletons. If you’ve done your time, you should be given all your rights back.
.
Anyway.

I am angry for a reason.

In poetry other answers to anger, trying to find some that fit, and enjoying finding new poets, happy with what I find:

Sapphics Against Anger
BY TIMOTHY STEELE
Angered, may I be near a glass of water;
May my first impulse be to think of Silence,
Its deities (who are they? do, in fact, they
Exist? etc.).

May I recall what Aristotle says of
The subject: to give vent to rage is not to
Release it but to be increasingly prone
To its incursions.
[…]

I did not write this poem — in anger. By Joel Dias-Porter

I did not write this poem
in anger,
I did not write this poem
in “Self-Defense.”
I did not write this poem.
Because my pen is empty from
having already written & written this poem.
– Joel Dias-Porter

Minnie Bruce Pratt
Justice, Come Down

[…]
I can smell my anger like sulfur-
struck matches. I wanted what had happened
to be a wall to burn, a window to smash.
At my fist the pieces would sparkle and fall.
All would be changed. I would not be alone. […]

From Violence to Peace
BY JIMMY SANTIAGO BACA

…I drove to Felipe’s house,
anger knotted in me
tight as the rope tied
to the stock trailer
steer strained against.
I pulled, but could not free myself. […]

“Felipe!” I yelled, porch light
flicked on, illuminating the yard.
“Came to fight,” I said, “take off
your glasses.” […]

First shot framed darkness round me
with a spillway of bright light,
eruption of sound, and second shot roared
a spray of brilliance and the third
gave an expanded halo-flash.
My legs woozed, and then
I buckled to the ground.
(I thought, holy shit, what ever happened
to the old yard-style fight between estranged friends!) […]

…During my week in bed,
pellets pollinated me
with a forgotten peace,
and between waking thoughts of anger and vengeance,
sleep was a small meadow of light,
a clearing I walked into and rested. Fragrance of peace
filled me as fragrance
of flowers and dirt permeate hands
that work in the garden all day…

Rita Dove: Fifth Grade Autobiography!

Love love love this poem. Hilarious, touching. but I remember his hands.

Fifth Grade Autobiography

BY RITA DOVE

I was four in this photograph fishing
with my grandparents at a lake in Michigan.
My brother squats in poison ivy.
His Davy Crockett cap
sits squared on his head so the raccoon tail
flounces down the back of his sailor suit.
My grandfather sits to the far right
in a folding chair,
and I know his left hand is on
the tobacco in his pants pocket
because I used to wrap it for him
every Christmas. Grandmother’s hips
bulge from the brush, she’s leaning
into the ice chest, sun through the trees
printing her dress with soft
luminous paws.
I am staring jealously at my brother;
the day before he rode his first horse, alone.
I was strapped in a basket
behind my grandfather.
He smelled of lemons. He’s died—
but I remember his hands.
.
.

Franny Choi: speaking about vaginas! Rebel mouth.

Vagina poem (I think) by spoken word poet Franny Choi. What are a vag’s ghost stories? What a poet.

Second Mouth
BY FRANNY CHOI

Other-lips whispering between my legs.
What they called black hole not-thing
is really packed full of secrets. A rebel mouth

testifying from the underside. Careful
not to let it speak too loudly. Only hum
demure in polite company—never laugh

or spit on the sidewalk or complain
lest we both be dragged under the wheels of
one of those. Or worse coddled

smiled at as at a lapdog acting wolf.
Or worse called ugly a cruel joke. Or—
there are always worse things.

Too many messengers shot. But then
who wouldn’t fear an eyeless face
whose ghost stories always come true?

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/247316

http://frannychoi.com/lit/

“Le sporting-club de Monte Carlo (for Lena Horne)” James Baldwin. Daughter of the thunder!!

enhanced-29505-1396378252-4

REX USA/Sten Rosenlund

Oh, I love these lines! G-d struts a little.

the lady is the apple
of God’s eye:
He’s cool enough about it
but He tends to strut a little
when she passes by

http://www.pugetsound.edu/news-and-events/campus-news/details/1097/

 

“Le sporting-club de Monte Carlo (for Lena Horne)”

The lady is a tramp

a camp
a lamp

The lady is a sight
a might
a light
the lady devastated
an alley or two
reverberated through the valley
which leads to me, and you

the lady is the apple
of God’s eye:
He’s cool enough about it
but He tends to strut a little
when she passes by

the lady is a wonder
daughter of the thunder
smashing cages
legislating rages
with the voice of ages
singing us through.

Michael Ondaatje: To Colombo.

Michael-Ondaatje-640x520

Returning from Sigiriya hills
in their high green the grey
animal fortress rock claws of stone
rumors of wild boar

           pass


paddy terraces
bullocks brown men
who rise knee deep like the earth
out of the earth…”

Sunlight sunlight

stop for the cool kurumba
scoop the half formed white
into our mouths
                   remove
tarpaulin walls of the jeep
to receive lowland air
                                    on a bench behind sunlight
                                    the woman the coconuts the knife

image-3

Lesbian Tenderness Alive Alive!

Fantasy

Gwendolyn Bennett
I sailed in my dreams to the Land of Night
Where you were the dusk-eyed queen,
And there in the pallor of moon-veiled light
The loveliest things were seen ...

A slim-necked peacock sauntered there
In a garden of lavender hues,
And you were strange with your purple hair
As you sat in your amethyst chair
With your feet in your hyacinth shoes.

Oh, the moon gave a bluish light
Through the trees in the land of dreams and night.
I stood behind a bush of yellow-green
And whistled a song to the dark-haired queen ...

 


Established in 1970, Glad Day Bookshop is the world’s oldest LGBTQ bookstore and Toronto’s oldest surviving bookstore. In 2012, a group of 23 community members pooled their funds and bought Glad Day Bookshop to save it from closing.

“Our best strategy for survival is adding new revenues streams like food and drink – which means a larger space.
We’ve picked out a great spot on Church Street that would allow us to be a bookstore & coffee shop during the day and a bar at night.
It is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible washroom.

It has a cute patio, a small space for performances and walls for art.

We will be a space where everyone feels welcome, sexy and celebrated.

We will be a queer-owned, indie place on Church Street. We will amplify the love, creativity, sexuality, diversity & liberation that Glad Day Bookshop is known for.”