16 April 2016

Friday at the WPC: Two Double Keynote Addresses*

Artists are here to disturb the peace.     
                                    ~James Baldwin     

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 lands
to 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


kaykuala said...

That certainly is a lot going for everyone, Susan! Success is obviously staring in the eyes!


Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh what an empowering and validating event. I can feel the tears and elation in the room, as humans tell it like it is meant to be. Sigh. Yay! You took me into that room.