Poetry by Catrice Greer: Come Home

Come Home a poem for George Floyd (June 7, 2020 Catrice Greer)

These wombs, sacred,
we build placenta worlds of blood and bone
cord by cord, cells churning with life
a zygotic landscape

s .. a .. f .. e

safe from gunshots, lethal force, blue bias, blows
safe from bent-tongued accusations, chokeholds, grief
tears and pain light-years away
the amniotic sac aglow
you hear only my voice

Mommy

I walked with you, my love, my sun
floating close to my own heartbeat
tethered in the mitochondrial house
we are one
my peace, your peace

my child, to lose you to this world
that does not know you
never carried you
is not the deep-rooted tree of life I birthed
a premature exit is not the afterbirth of my labor

Call my name
when the end is near
I will come again for you
I will come again for you, my angel
my sweetness
you will reside here with me, rest in peace.
Come home.

breathe
breathe
breathe

Wolfpack Contributor: Catrice Greer

Fevers of the Mind Interview Catrice Greer w/poetry “Yearning Through the Fog” & “Cortical Cartography”

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Khalisa Rae

with Khalisa Rae Thompson:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Khalisa: I have always been a storyteller creating new worlds with images, a creative writer, and it’s always been an escape for me. A way to articulate the world in a new way. that helped me process trauma and joys in a new ways. My mom still has the Tupperware bins of my early fiction writing form when I was 6 years old. When I discovered Lucille Clifton, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Gwendolyn Brooks, and James Baldwin, my life was forever changed.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Khalisa: I am really inspired by Tiana Clark, Dorothy Chan, Audre Lorde, Terrance Hayes, and Jericho Brown.

How to Be Drawn (Penguin Poets): Hayes, Terrance: 2015143126881:  Amazon.com: Books

Q3: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Khalisa: I was standing in front of my undergraduate creative writing class and the director of the department heard me reciting poetry and told me I should do it for the rest of my life. I didn’t get serious about writing until that pivotal moment. She gave me permission to go full force, hone my craft, and envision a career.

Q4: Who has helped you most with writing?

Khalisa: I would definitely say that my college professors Claudia Rankine, Ada Limon. They taught me the craft of writing poetry, showed me how to be a critical poetry editor, and opened my eyes to so many different types of writing and the many different versions of what poetry can be.

Q5: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing & have any travels away from home influence your work?

Khalisa: So, I was born in Gary Indiana and being from the Midwest/outside Chicago definitely influenced my tone, dialect, approach, and vibrato. I think being from a major metropolitan, all Black city influences my subject matter and perspective as well of the inequities and disparities that people of color experience. It also showed me how much of pop culture is stolen and appropriated from Black street culture and that shows up in my writing. Then moving to the South definitely was a culture shock and inspired my writing and shifted my work to have more of a southern influence that reflects on nature, family, food, and matriachs. I feel like moving to the south made me get more in touch with my ancestory, history, and roots. That has made me writing more well-rounded and allows me to have more tools in my tool kit. I can make my writing sound like the street kid, like the proper private school girl, like the Southern belle, or the down home girl. I can take on many different voices and personas in my pieces. Traveling to Chile with Ada inspired my writing and helped me grow my skill in narrative writing and painting images.

Q6: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far to you?

Khalisa: I would definitely say that my book Ghost in a Black Girls Throat is the most meaningful collection I’ve ever written because I can feel the direct impact its had with the culture and so many of my topics are timely and speaks to large social justice issues like racism, bigotry and sexism. It also is in conversation with the history of prejudice gentrification, and generational trauma in the Black culture. My poems confront and address important issues, and start important conversations. That said, I do think that my newer work is some of my bravest work. I wrote a letter to Cardi B and Meg the Stallion that got published in a dream publication- Electric Literature, and that made me feel empowered to talk about sex and desire on a public forum.

Q7: Favorite activities to relax?

Khalisa: I really love to dance and laugh. My favorite pasttime is watching funny movies with my husband, eating good food, or listening to good music- like jazz and motown classics. To relax, I color, journal, and do yoga. I also really like to just zone out to my favorite shows and movies and get lost in another world.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem/writing of yours or others?

Khalisa:

“That’s what they will come for first.- the throat. They know that be your super power your furnace of rebellion. So they silence us before the coal burns.” – Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat

“I can be razor-backed
and spike-edged when he tries to skin me,
unscale my silvery back, debone my brazen
hen-hide. I will be foul-mouthed and crooked-necked.
I will be the chicken-head they know me to be,
if it will save my life.”- Livestock

Q9: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Khalisa: I am currently working on my Blk Southern romance novel, in addition to gathering stories of Blk queer women and femme folks that live in the South. Lastly, my poetry and art lyric collection is slated for publication in Jan/Feb 2022, called Unlearning Eden.

https://amzn.to/3sDOPjp for Khalisa’s book “Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat” a wonderful inspiring book. Buy today! https://redhenpress.org/products/ghost-in-a-black-girl-s-throat-by-khalisa-rae

Home

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Think In Ink

Other links:

https://www.flypaperlit.com/poetry/2-poems-by-khalisa-rae

https://www.palettepoetry.com/author/khalisa-rae/

https://www.frontierpoetry.com/2021/04/02/poetry-mackerel-by-khalisa-rae/

https://sundoglit.com/khalisa-rae/

http://www.lunalunamagazine.com/blog/poetry-by-khalisa-rae

https://postscriptmagazine.org/content/two-poems-khalisa-rae

https://www.pw.org/directory/writers/khalisa_rae_thompson

https://honeyandlimelit.wixsite.com/website/apology-by-khalisa-rae

https://honeyliterary.com/2021/07/19/sex-kink-and-the-erotic-two-poems-by-khalisa-rae/

https://www.readpoetry.com/6-stunning-april-poetry-releases/

http://www.glass-poetry.com/poets-resist/rae-mermaids.html

Khalisa Rae
Assistant Editor, Glass Poetry
NBC-BLK
Managing Editor, Think in Ink

Poetry by R.D. Johnson : (Not Just On) Juneteenth

(Not Just On) Juneteenth

Been a little over year
Of people having to be reminded of what black is
A reminder of the anger and a reminder of the sadness
Still the fact is
It shouldn’t take a trauma for you to understand a trauma
Only thing we are doing is piling it up
Adding a comma
Some try to be empathetic others will just call it drama
And God got something for they ass
I’m a call it karma
What goes around comes back around
And let’s just use it to describe 2020
We traded chains and shackles 
For cuffs and death
Something we saw too many
A nation went from uniting like minded people
To further put a division between everyone
To the point that folks can’t even be subtle with their racism
So what can one do?
We continue to be a voice
We continue to be the change
We continue to persevere
We have to…
We have to withstand any and everything
Now so those that come after us don’t have to as hard
Just as generation after generation had to
Just remember me as the bridge
Someone on the journey to a better life
I’m black
I’m proud
Give me my flowers while I’m here
And not just on Juneteenth
Everyday 
And don’t forget me when I’m gone


Bio: Follow R.D. Johnson on twitter @r_d_Johnson                                                                                     R.D. Johnson is a pushcart nominee, a best of the net nominee for Fevers of the Mind  "(Not Just On) Juneteenth"    Reggie is an author reigning out of Cincinnati, Ohio. At the age of 9, he found a love for writing while on summer vacation. With influences from music, Reggie has created a rhythmic style of writing to tell his personal experiences and beyond.  Reggie has several books available on all major online retailers and his work can be seen in various literary magazines. He currently has two columns, Drunken Karaoke featured on Daily Drunk Magazine & REPLAYS featured on The Poetry Question. https://thepoetryquestion.com/category/replay-rdj/      


A Review from “Thank You For the Content III” by R.D. Johnson (Reggie D. Johnson)

4 Poems by R.D. Johnson : Malcolm & Martin, Angels, Dr. King’s Dream & February 1st (re-post)


4 Poems by R.D. Johnson : Malcolm & Martin, Angels, Dr. King’s Dream & February 1st (re-post)

Malcolm & Martin

Built like Malcolm, that’s the X in me
Think we just in the middle, the thought perplexes me
Built like Martin Luther, no wonder my name mean king
And continue one day at a time
Walking in his dream

Angels

Angels watch over me
And don’t let the devil get up under me
A lot of evil planning they six feet so they can put me under see
Six feet has become the socially acceptable distance
I have people farther away taken from me in an instance
Thinking about the circumstances got me withdrawing my defenses
See the pain through my lenses
Lather all my feelings, watch it repeat as it rinses

I got angels over me
Waiting to give my wings
I still gotta do a few more things
Reach a few more dreams
Right now things don’t look like what it seems
Feel like we’re in a balancing act
Keeping it together on the beams
Right now the world is holding it together
But trying to bust at the seams

I got angels over me
Watching over ensure I’m blessed
Diminishing my stress
Monitoring my success
Always hungry for more
Never settling for less

Angels watching over me
Since they were taken from me too soon
I wish I could sit and chat with them all
In the same room
Wish I could see my cousin one more time
Call me RJ one, my favorite nickname of mine
Wish I could visit my grandpa like I used to
I hope you proud of me for the things I did do
Wish I was I can see my uncle now
And create my own stories
I want all of them to say in unison to me not to worry
Tell me this world is a scary place at times and that things will get better
And that they’ll be with me all the way no matter the storm to weather

Dr. King’s Dream

If Martin Luther King’s dream became reality
Ope there goes gravity
Or whatever Eminem said
People would lose themselves
Over the realization
That this is not the equality that he spoke of all these years ago
This currently is not the peace he spoke of
People would rather take a piece of justice into their own hands rather than make peace
Because between their two fingers is all the peace some need
Versus putting an index and middle finger up any day to actually stand for peace
If Dr King’s dream became a reality
We could stop living in this nightmare
Maybe the majority could be woke like some of us
To the point that they really open their eyes
See their actions over years have led to this demise
As it come to no surprise
In order for one side to win over the other
There must be an eye on the prize
And look at the fucking trophy they want
A country in shambles
If Dr. King’s dream became a reality
Then none of this strife would currently be happening

February 1st

If you think that February 1st
Is just a recognition of my melanin
Then you would be the first to be mistaken
This is not meant to awaken
Unnerving thoughts but to serve as a reminder
That if last year was any indicator
That Black Lives Have. Will. And Always. Matter
Time has shown only distorted views
Where you see only pigments of achievements
Because the rest of light is darkened by bloodshed and destruction
We have fought so many years just to have a seat at the table
Look these people in the eye
And tell them I have something to say
My voice matters
My being matters
My representation matters
I am more than entertainment
I am more than your fool
I am more than your jester
I am more
Countless movements
And we’re keep walking until we stampede over the divide and minimize the cracks in society
Mother earth’s backbone is aching from the humans stepping on us
We’re not roaches
We’re not pesticides
You’re going to sit and listen to my inner voice
As it resides in the emotions of these lines
I will tell you this
Black isn’t history
History is Black
And when we can see the distinction
Maybe both sides can finally relax

Bio: Follow R.D. Johnson on twitter @r_d_Johnson R.D. Johnson is a pushcart nominee, a best of the net nominee for Fevers of the Mind “(Not Just On) Juneteenth” Reggie is an author reigning out of Cincinnati, Ohio. At the age of 9, he found a love for writing while on summer vacation. With influences from music, Reggie has created a rhythmic style of writing to tell his personal experiences and beyond. Reggie has several books available on all major online retailers and his work can be seen in various literary magazines. He currently has two columns, Drunken Karaoke featured on Daily Drunk Magazine & REPLAYS featured on The Poetry Question. https://thepoetryquestion.com/category/replay-rdj/

A Review from “Thank You For the Content III” by R.D. Johnson (Reggie D. Johnson)

Poem by R.D. Johnson: “Just a Scratch” (new poetry)

Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Reggie D. Johnson (aka R.D. Johnson)

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