I’ve been thinking a lot lately about about the difference in craft and presentation between spoken and printed poetry. How does a poem communicate differently when poured from its originator directly into the ear of the spectator? The words fill each spectator differently, like water in bulbous glass vessels. On the page, it’s easier to reverse that process, and fill a poem with yourself, with your histories.
[BLOG] Many thanks to editor Elizabeth Reapy and guest poetry editor Kerrie O’Brien.
[WORDS] A poem of mine has been published in the Irish literary magazine wordlegs, and I am both elated and disoriented. Disoriented because this particular piece — about an ephemeral, lust-filled encounter prevented from blossoming — has retained in performance the same fleeting, jazz-filled, sensual resignation as the experience that inspired it. A musical favorite, to see its words fixed in space gives it a strange and different life.
In light of the heartbreaking tragedy of Mike Brown — unarmed African-American teenager shot dead by police as he was running to his grandmother’s house in Ferguson, Missouri — social media campaign #IfTheyGunnedMeDown exploded, exploring how the media portrays, without fail, black victims of shootings. Afropunk ran a great collection of early contributions here: http://ow.ly/AioHF
#IfTheyGunnedMeDown, and I was unarmed, what picture would the media use to create a racialized bias?
Photo description: Twilight on a street in Ferguson, Missouri. Three white-presenting police officers in green and beige military fatigues, gas-mask helmets and other military-grade weapons and paraphernalia are pointing their machine guns at a black young man with long dreadlocks wearing blue jeans, a sky blue t-shirt and a green baseball cap turned backwards. The young man’s hands are in the air.
Many thanks to KnockanStockan and its large, responsive, poetry-loving crowd. Performing was wonderful, as were the entire festival’s vibration and so many other acts. Thanks for putting spoken word front and center.