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Sunday Post on Saturday 11/21

Joie Rose's picture

After last weeks class, the illusion we shattered and the control we were forced to acknowledge we never had, we all seemed to relax into an easy open structure. We opened up the floor in order to close out Brothers and Keepers and the general sentiment was a visceral and vehement rejection of the book as ‘bad’ ‘perverted’ and frustration and anger at the way John kept trying to project his shortcoming and perversions on prisoners whom he could not possibly know. Most of us felt that we could never fully hear Robby’s voice, never get a full picture of the visage John was trying to paint, and it was a major shortcoming of John’s writing.


The discussion eventually came to a natural stopping point, and we transitioned into our ‘I am from” poems. Following a poignant introduction by Meera, we were left to our own devises to churn out poems that were supposed to describe where we were from. Or perhaps who we are? How can it be that where we are from could possibly be different form who we are?  This is what came out of me, surprisingly considering the black cloud that had been hanging over my head all day, considering the fact that I have not written in any type of rhyme in years and considering the fact that I thought I knew what I wanted to say. What came out instead however, was mirth, vague hardships wrapped in fond memory, and of all things….hope?


I am from…

Tacky swivel chairs and wallpaper old,

From seams and tears and rips sewn closed.


I am from…

Yelps and laughs and children’s eyes alight

From old carpets and carved wooden boxes, and a shiny head board that gleams in the night.


I am from…

Forced smiles and small thank yous and guilt laden gifts we could not afford

And candles lit, and books read, and monsters banished that we hadn’t time for.


I am from…

A move and a change, a fresh start and new day,

From cracks and leaks and creaks and groans and love where each person lay.


I am from…

A love so deep it would break your long wandering heart,

And cuts and scratches and screams and tears that almost, very almost, broke us apart.


I am from…

Laughter old and laughter new,

The familiar, comfortable sound of my mothers and mine mingled with mirth from the yolk from which we drew.


I am from…

The stars and the moon, two worlds that coexist and collide,

Along this rocky unpredictable, beautiful, heartbreaking ride.


We spoke a bit afterwards about the poems. How we wrote them for ourselves how and our cryptic ambiguity may reveal more about what we wish we could speak than what we actually say. How we learned so much about each of us in the moments we took to share ourselves through our poems, how we wrote about what we wished for, what we were wistful for, what memories we had tinged with frayed golden light and fond merriment. Why is it that when we speak of where we are from, which seeps into who we are, we find our writing so much lighter than our truths? Or is it that our truths are lighter than we give them credit for.