still here

“Greetings From The Literary Equator–Wish You Were Here” read the postcard lying catty-corner in the dashboard window.

like a traveler returning from a long journey, i’m back again, and as I wait for my broccoli cheddar soup to cool a bit, i write as the eccentric spirit of  Kurt Vonnegut or the adventurous spirit of Earnest Hemingway visit ever briefly with me.

it has something vaguely to do with the coffee too; hot, strong, slightly stale, bold and–with the seductive power of skim milk–coaxed to a caramel color.  i take hold of a fist full of real sugar, throw caution to the wind for the sake of art, and snuggle into my favorite alcove at Panera’s.

and i am happy–
because i am writing

although i feel i must explain a little more about the Vonnegut/Hemingway thing.

i am an African-American female poet/writer, so it i very unlikely that i would be channeling either of these gentlemen as i write. but it is their notoriety, their possession of the infamous , their tenacity, their detail that arrests me.

i am actually here for
this brief period intent to
dissect the works of
Claude McKay,
Countee Cullen,
Gwendolyn Brooks,
Langston Hughes,
Ai

i’m optimistic that other black
poets will inhabit the space
i will humbly make more
room in my alcove for
each of them

stay as long as you
like; you are welcome here

as the line in the Langston Hughes ‘ piece entitled, “I’m Still Here” goes…’I been scarred and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered…but i’m still here.’

Amen, brother.  i too am still here.

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