there are ways of being alive that look nothing like the somatic supposition opposite death. To be dead is something else altogether.
The cracks in my heart have not come from bodies offered in the guise of honey; haven’t shaken my hand seconds too long; taken my eyes for gazing balls; my limbs for casualwear. What pocks its surface could be mistaken for the debris their kind leave behind
What you do know is that what the women said about you is true: you are a cavernous hollow in whom no man can find his rightful end. And who doesn’t want to end somehow? To plant a flag, surrender and wilt into rest?
For today’s sermon, we borrow from the book of Nikki (Giovanni, that is).
Editor’s Note: While our usual editorial style uses poets’ last names on second reference, this essay intentionally breaks with that style as a nod to the intimacy the poet has cultivated with audiences and readers.
By Kendra N. Bryant, PhD
I turned myself into myself and was
men intone my loving name
All praises All praises
I am the one who would save
—Nikki Giovanni, “Ego Tripping (There May Be a Reason Why)”
Jesus wept. (John 11:35)
I find Jesus and Nikki to be quite similar, maybe even one and the same. Admittedly, however, I don’t know either that well. But I think I know enuf about them to make such an assertion. See, I’m thinking if Jesus really is on Mars, then Nikki’s fascination with space is really her fascination with herself, but not in an ego-tripping, self-centered fashion; more like a return to Self. Otherwise…
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It wasn't remembering at all but realizing--probably that's what I was doing, you know, that you are dead, and it felt like chewing foil
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Source: darlene anita scott
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