Aunt her face a blur of wrinkles & sunshine #poem #BlackLivesMatter by Al Young

Aunt

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BY AL YOUNG

She talks too loud, her face
a blur of wrinkles & sunshine
where her hard hair shivers
from laughter like a pine tree
stiff with oil & hotcombing
O & her anger realer than gasoline
slung into fire or lighted mohair
She’s a clothes lover from way back
but her body’s too big to be chic
or on cue so she wear what she want
People just gotta stand back &
take it like they do Easter Sunday when
the rainbow she travels is dry-cleaned
She laughs more than ever in spring
stomping the downtowns, Saturday past
work, looking into JC Penney’s checking
out Sears & bragging about how when she
feel like it she gon lose weight &
give up smoking one of these sorry days
Her eyes are diamonds of pure dark space
& the air flying out of them as you look
close is only the essence of living
to tell, a full-length woman, an aunt
brown & red with stalking the years

Al Young, “Aunt” from The Blues Don’t Change. Copyright © 1982 by Al Young.  Reprinted by permission of Louisiana State University Press.

Source: The Blues Don’t Change (Louisiana State University Press, 1982)

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The Black Unicorn, Audre Lorde.

Migraine morning, so no reading law but reading poetry.

The Black Unicorn

The black unicorn is greedy.
The black unicorn is impatient.
The black unicorn was mistaken
for a shadow or symbol
and taken
through a cold country
where mist painted mockeries
of my fury.
It is not on her lap where the horn rests
but deep in her moonpit
growing.
The black unicorn is restless
the black unicorn is unrelenting
the black unicorn is not
free.

NEW and USED: Abebooks.com The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry
NEW at independent bookstores: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634

The Black Unicorn isn’t supposed to be funny, but she makes me smile. I’m not sure: I think the mist means that a token black person is white washed by white friends or fellow academics, writers maybe, a place where she feels bound also by misogyny and emphasizes her power comes from her vag. That’s what I read into it. The black unicorn is powerful.

Quick notes about the poem.

Rosa Gutman Jasny: The Faraway Moon. Yiddish poetry!

Because sometimes you can’t get a woman out of your mind. Not even by watching Buffy. Or The Good Wife. This poem especially the last line, shows so much tenderness and knowing…

Rosa Gutman Jasny “produced much of their work in Eastern Europe […] also found their way to New York at various stages in their lives. The lives of several women writers were spent in a perpetual state of wandering…”
http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/yiddish-womens-poetry

The Faraway Moon

The faraway moon, has she already heard
That any minute now
She’s to become a world by herself?
No longer lotus flower, tender and bemused —
Just an ordinary drab world.

Today she shows us half her face,
drawn and pale.
That blond capricious moon —
What might she not do from rage?

Turn swiftly to her lords on high,
And scatter all dreams since time began,
Like dust into outer space?

Oh no, moon, don’t.

.

Poem by Rosa Gutman Jasny and translated from Yiddish to English by Etta Blum.

Treasury of Yiddish Poetry. Edited by Irving Howe, Eliezer Greenberg.

USED and NEW: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=13535919967

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…

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

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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.

America never was America to me, And yet I swear this oath— America will be! Langston Hughes, Ferguson!

 hughes2
A writer dreams.
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark? 
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free?  Not me?
Surely not me?  The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

To the Man Who Shouted “I Like Pork Fried Rice” at Me on the Street by Franny Choy.

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http://youtu.be/GS56hTj4XT4 Spoken Word by Frannie Choy!!!

To the Man Who Shouted “I Like Pork Fried Rice” at Me on the Street by Frannie Choy.

you want to eat me
out. right. what does it taste like
you want to eat me right out
of these jeans & into something
a little cheaper. more digestible.
more bite-sized. more thank you

come: i am greasy
for you. i slick my hair with msg
every morning. i’m bad for you.
got some red-light district between
your teeth. what does it
taste like: a takeout box
between my legs.
plastic bag lady. flimsy white fork
to snap in half. dispose of me.

taste like dried squid. lips puffy
with salt. lips brimming
with foreign so call me
pork. curly-tailed obscenity
been playing in the mud. dirty meat.
worms in your stomach. give you

a fever. dead meat. butchered girl
chopped up & cradled
in styrofoam. you candid cannibal.
you want me bite-sized
no eyes clogging your throat.

but i’ve been watching
from the slaughterhouse. ever since
you named me edible. tossed in
a cookie at the end. lucky man.
go & take what’s yours.
name yourself archaeologist but

listen carefully
to the squelches in
your teeth & hear my sow squeal
scream murder between
molars. watch salt awaken
writhe, synapse.
watch me kick
back to life. watch me tentacles
& teeth. watch me
resurrected electric.

what does it
taste like: revenge
squirming alive in your mouth
strangling you quiet
from the inside out.