Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Through (Gratitude Poem #12)

Lorde I had to heal myself this morning. Some unexpected expenses for this dream trip, and every conversation I have in my head about scarcity had me off-hilt and scattered for a moment, but then I get present to the abundance of my community's infinite forms of support and I remember that everything is love!

Lorde I had to heal myself this morning. Thank heaven, Black Canada and the internet for Leah Burke.

Leah, you are a healer in my heart telling me to breathe. You are the ready medicine of love exhaled. Indigo ingenuity in every moment. Knowing you is like living on a reservoir of self-made and resurrected black women healing. Knowing you is lamaze breath transubstantiated into music and music transformed back into presence. I learn so much from you. I have felt so held by you, surrounded in your lovingly chosen song choices and playlists that don't be playin' at all when it comes to the sacred work of lifting a spirit. This is how you were with me the entire time I was writing my dissertation, the long afternoons where the best I could do was to dance around the house and scream sometimes. Julia genuflects when I speak your name: "Leah. You know Leah, who made the playlist on Quirky Black Girls..." You are so magical, Moya and I wonder sometimes how much we must have saved up in the quirky karma account to deserve you and your gifts. Thank you for exemplifying the the most crucial piece of information I know for sure right now: love is infinite and many forms of love do many miraculous things, but the love of black women gets us through.

Love you.



p.s. For those just now eavesdropping...amazing Black feminist writer, scholar, organizer, and beekeeper Dr. Gloria Joseph has invited me to St. Croix to visit her and to commune with the spirit of Audre Lorde. There is nothing to say but yes. My versions of yes include writing a poem inspired by a poem from Lorde's last published collection "The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance" for every member of my beloved community of support that donates to the dream journey!!!

Learning how to sacrament dollars back into love:


For Leah Burke

After Audre Lorde’s “Party Time”

play the muscled anthem

our dirtiest mamas

thimble tongued

pierce our lungs into home

if we can breathe through this

anything can live

strut past funeral into bloom

lower rents bend hell by brazeness

if we can hear

the Lorde try to tell us


try to tell

hell bent Bumpurs real

Lorde speak blue rattle death whisper waking up

if we can hear and breathe and heave and hold this

Lorde she tryna tell us something

secret newspaper blood

blue black ink wrote over

chords stole strung broke

try ta hear it

stitched ragged and roadside

breathe through this

stained kitchen wall

whole hipped hands suspended into swagger

breathe through this

police dog polemic

drum resurrection

like if you could run and sing at the same time

strum tears into weather

don’t stop

that sound that sob

that washes festered sight

breathe through sore throat

scalp evaporate

heat rising wet stepping up

rhythm paid and slayed

wade in grapejuice over heal

who sings

must have heard how to exhale

who sings hooded hallelujah hung

who hear who hear hoot holler

who hear holler whole who home

who heave heat hear who haunt

who happen who hold hit who home

who home who home who home

who who who who who who

shh shh shh shh she home

Lorde know

who she

breathin’ through.

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