A Laying Down of Sorrows

well I wanted to braid my hair

bathe and bedeck my

self so fine

so fully aforethought for

your pleasure

see:

I wanted to travel and read

and runaround fantastic…

…But I had to remember to write down

margarine on the list

and shoepolish and a can of

sliced pineapple in casea company

The Talking Back of Miss Valentine Jones: Poem # one, June Jordan

lady in red

i waz missin somethin

lady in purple

somethin so important

lady in brown

somethin promised

lady in blue

a layin on of hands…

-from for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange

I’m now throwing away most of the things people have tried to teach me about art and writing and story structure and how things must be done. There is too much grief and too much death, too much misery for me to continue to use writing as another way to punish myself for my shortcomings; to hyper-fixate on the use or utility of my work to the point of inaction; to point out all the areas of failure, all the evidence that these words have no transformative or radical potential; or, how nobody cares to hear from another African international-school-to-abroad pipeline person who thinks their third eye has…

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