On September 28th an eclectic group of poets gathered for session 4 of the Finding Poems Series. We were inspired by June Jordan’s architectextual poems and by the powerful video conferenced-in sharing of environmental justice scholar Cheryl J. Fish to engage the spatial realities and legacies of Durham in a poetic way. We wrote many poems that day but here is our group poem/group of poems for Durham.
And you can listen to it here:
Durham Poem #34
Durham, don’t dig down deep
Beg barter and plea, Baby
For transformation you are not willing to have as your birthday wish, Honey
Durham Poem #9
whirlwind my heart you dirty city
you tobacco dust you slave lust trust
you breathing devil land
Durham Poem #23
The beats of the hearts the angers the terrors the smiles
Durham Poem #24
in durham, traffic slower
than my blood flow
during morning prayer, a man
ask me for food, or change
in front of mcdonalds,
i extend a banana,
he refuses, i continue
singing. i belong here.
Durham Poem #25 (26, 27, 28…)
the first year i shivered. who knew there could be snow down here
making broken oak litter
the two next i plumped + grew + crossed under electrical wires to a turtle river.
and coming for fourth year, three thunderstorms have
drenched me here: the drops are so much bigger than
new home, you got warm tapioca pearls, got aloe blood, got muscadine guts coming from the sky.
Durham Poem #31
Not West Virginia
Durham Poem #4
There is a man waving a gun next to the Bull
We’re to hide inside, as they kill him; watch him die till morning
As a city with its history tattooed on your sidewalks, I wonder how you might caption your present.
Durham Poem #202
This elastic place-when I breath it
I’m learning new shades; if I remember to keep my lungs open
Here-I am becoming more comfortable with complex color patterns and asking for hugs when I need one.