Durham Poems from the Finding Poems Participants

2 10 2013

Durham_Mag_Cover-222x300On 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

Durham, Durham

The beats of the hearts the angers the terrors the smiles

Dance Durham

Durham Poem #24

the pompeii

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

at home

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.



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