Monday, April 20, 2020

April Is National Poetry Month!


April Is National Poetry Month!

Today I spotlight a renaissance woman, a poet, a novelist, an essayist, a Civil Rights Activist, playwright, and educator. Recipient of numerous awards. The Real Slim Lady!

I MUST BECOME A MENACE TO MY ENEMIES
JUNE JORDAN

1
I will no longer lightly walk behind
a one of you who fear me
Be afraid
I plan to give you reasons for your jumpy fits
and facial tics
I will not walk politely on the pavements anymore
and this is dedicated in particular
to those who hear my footsteps
or the insubstantial rattling of my grocery
cart
then turn around
see me
and hurry on
away from this impressive terror I must be
I plan to blossom bloody on an afternoon
surrounded by my comrades singing
terrible revenge in merciless
accelerating
rhythms
But
I have watched a blind man studying his face
I have set the table in the evening and sat down
to eat the news
Regularly
I have gone to sleep
There is no one to forgive me
The dead do not give a damn
I live like a lover
who drops her dime into the phone
just as the subway shakes into the station
wasting her message
canceling the question of her call
fulminating or forgetful but late
and always after the fact that could save or
condemn me
I must become the action of my fate.

2
How many of my brothers and my sisters
will they kill
before I teach myself
retaliation
Shall we pick a number
South Africa for instance
do we agree that more than ten thousand
in less than a year but that less than
five thousand slaughtered in more than six
months will
WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH ME
I must become a menace to my enemies

3
And if I
if I ever let you slide
who should be extirpated from my universe
who should be cauterized from earth
completely
(lawandorder jerkoffs of the first the
terrorist degree)
then let my body fail my soul
in its bedeviled lecheries
And if I
if I ever let love go
because the hatred and the whisperings
become a phantom dictate I o-bey
in lieu of impulse and realities
(the blossoming flamingos of my
wild mimosa trees)
then let love freeze me
out
I must become
I must become a menace to my enemies

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