Artists are here to disturb the peace.
Jasiri X and friend Yusef Salaam
bring home hip hop, the media and mass
incarceration, one hood media
and how! with something really different
and I am shaken from ignorance like
cherry blossom petals from a spring tree
free fall, change throbbing through me with
the undeniable force of music
I am the field of grain I wave applause
I write the names of albums I will buy:
Still Waters Run Deep, Illucidity,
Sex Sells, Pieces of a Soul, Driving
While Black, Leonore and Black Liberation
Theology—Black lives Matter more more
Later, Philadelphia’s third Poet
Laureate Yolanda Fisher brought “Cat
Scat” and “Her Grandmother’s House” and later
Verna Myers brought “You are beautiful”
“I have bias” and “Being good is not
enough” and “Treat people the way they want”
We laugh at us—and give all performers
standing ovations for innovation
and truth and audacity, for talent
and for lighting fire under our chairs,
and I have tears to see the arts used right
and righteously to put new stars up where
they guide us through mine fields and border landsto possibilities that are our right.
Poem 15 for April inspired by and its prompt to honor the halfway point by writing a poem of doubles.
*Note: All April poem-a-day poems are rough drafts awaiting revision.
Copyright © 2016 Susan L. Chast