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It's all about the word!



I woke up this morning with poetry on mind. This being poetry month a time when we make ceremony to bow to the power of words, I decided to share to give space and praise to Toni Morrison one of the most dynamic word smiths I have ever had the pleasure to read and to meet. What writer or writers will your pen sing praise for this month? Here’s my salute:


PROSE FOR TONI


In this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Baby Suggs without practiced hymnal or choir. Sermons, praise dancers leaping from weeping trees, crimson streamers in hand, casting spells lifted off tongues of world weathered, naked belly women, sliding around life on flattened slipper backs or no shoes at all, chewing, always chewing, gnashing on wisdom wet tales, tilting bodies into lean, posting up at Furnaces hot with memory. A Paradise lost. Browning blue-eyed wishes dyed in communal longing, worrying, worrying, worrying about the edges of their hair; their kookleberries kneeling in perms, worshiping love weary Black men: Everybody want the life of a black man. Everybody... And black women, they want your whole self. Can’t she criticize whom she loves? It is about love. Songs sobbing, soughing into brisk winds, stinging creased skins. Our survival needing Seven Days to right it. Flight being an acceptable option, homemade papier mache, super-man cloak wings ascending claw foot spirits, ancestral myths wrapping damp, drooping dreams for departure homeward bound.


Toni was just cool. ‘Round mid-night, words to a Monk melody- Cool. Talkin, walkin’ NY streets down a soul-train line bumpin’ afros with Angela Davis- Cool. Smooth talking Guitar cool: You think because he doesn’t love you that you are worthless … that he’s correct…You can’t lose what you don’t own? Sula cool. Sitting there with that yellow ribbon in her hair getting chumped by love cuz she forgot it can snuggle, pinch, move on without clamps, wrenches or screws keepin’ it in place. Shadrack said “Always” bow legged, walking madness, treading water enough to quench thirst, too much to avoid suicide. Always a vigil on present dangers. She was so cool, she didn’t need clay or crayons to make her own self, letting it drop like a plate if it must. She was a signifying shape shifter, loosening operatic high notes, disrupting sound, with love, she reached under America’s skirt to pull up her umber hem.

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