#BlackHistoryMonth I asked a young Blood poet if my stuff was correct by Hoagland

Puttin’ on the Dog

for “Corner Girl”
By Everett Hoagland

Is my shit correct?
Is my vine correct?
Are my kicks country or correct?
Is my “do” down?Is my shit correct?Is my rusty black diction correct?
Should my ever more erudite
utterances be in “The Vernacular?”
Should my presentation be
theatrical and spectacular?

Is my shit correct?

Should my manner be mannered
and laid back?
Is my poetry Posey?
Does it go to too far into haute couture
Does it come from hard facts
and Fanon,
or does it refer repeatedly
to The Canon trippin’
in Trickster Mode, tryin’
to Trope-A-Dope????

Is my shit correct?

But, hey, black poetry’s got more
than one good way.
The other day I asked a young Blood
poet if my stuff was correct, if it was
He said, Breaklight becomes dawn,
Ol’ Head.  The word “happenin”
ain’t happenin’, ain’t “where it’s at.”
Today it’s on. Word!
Our work is all that.

Daisies by Genevieve Sambrook


Wednesday I kissed every inch
of your pulsing neck
and I held your waist
so close to my heart
our breathing matched
you asked me why
I haven’t written
a poem in a while
You joked that I was
lacking inspiration
but darling
the heaviest words are so quiet
when something feels right
you just breathe

and so do I

I heard last week on the radio
that for burn victims the only way
to save a limb is to cut it
until it bleeds
so you know where the living starts
every spring my mother has
me slice apart her flowers
she says they grow back
healthier if you remove what has died
darling I’ve been cutting to
the living part for
as long as I can remember
I would like to think I am
growing back

from: We Will Be Shelter, poems for survival. Ed. Andrea Gibson. A write bloody book.