An Occasional Poem, “White”, Tupelo Press Poetry 30/30 Project Day 14

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!

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