Poetry Reading for Marrow (poems about Jonestown)

I'll be reading poems from Marrow, my manuscript about the Peoples Temple, a congregation of Americans who emigrated to Jonestown Guyana and were coerced into suicide by their spiritual leader.

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Someone Was Shot Here, Probably (NaPoWriMo 7/30)

In a burned out city that whispered from its ashes willful forgetting would only salt that richness; turn the fertilizing of it to Death.

Comply or Die

He explains that he understands compliance intimately by sharing this story: as younger men he and friends were stopped and robbed by police. Their choice, he suggests, to face the wall, hands up as told and accept the stick up, saved their lives.

Black Lives Matter: Death By Assimilation

There are few, if any, choices a black body can make that do not speak its history, including the requisite traumas and proud triumphs over them. Under the gaze of the status quo, this body, with its history written all over it, is an indictment of the status quo. Erasing that physical body becomes critical to sustaining not just the aesthetic of the status quo but more importantly its structure. Erasure is not necessarily the literal murder of it, though that is one way to erase it, but more typically, the suppression of it. Suppression often comes in the form of assimilating the black body into the status quo.