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,

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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