An “occasional poem” is a poem written in honor or memory of a particular occasion. (Duh) Since late yesterday afternoon when I first heard about the arrest of journalists and the use of military weapons on protestors in Ferguson, Missouri, I have been caught up in the reports. It is difficult to believe that the images I’m seeing come from 2014 and not 1964, although I know that nothing about this episode is surprising to people in black communities. With these images weighing on my heart, and a desire to bring this wrestling into my work, I tried to work on the next poem in my “Invention of Color” series. This one, “White” is in the form of a Bop, which is a recently created form in which stanzas of 6 – 8 – 6 lines are interrupted by a repeated refrain. Afaa Michael Weaver introduced the form at an African American arts event, which is why I wanted to try to use it for this particular topic. If I had more time, this would be quite a bit better, I’m sure, but it was a good challenge to work on something that is complex emotionally and technically, as well as politically current.
As a reminder, the goal of this project is to help Tupelo raise money for it’s publishing endeavors. If you are able, consider giving $5 on my behalf to help out. Here is the link to their online donation system. Thanks!