Friday, November 19, 2010

Univ Utah

I woke up this morning ready. What an empty and full statement. Like ready for what, right? Ready for the day. Ready, finally to let go some pain I was holding on to. Let go of some doubt, fear. I woke up this morning, open. The more I let go of the more room I have inside of my body for love, laughter, new experiences, remembering old experiences that made me smile.

I spoke at the University of Utah in the English department today. They are covering black literature and I spoke as a "contemporary poet." I loved it. I was here last year also and had a great experience then too. I opened up with a poem called Take Us Back giving honor to "the Negro." It was well recieved and then went on to some work about women (you know me). The class and I had a great discussion. About hip hop, women's issues, black literature in the 60's, black poetry now, what is spoken word? We even talked about hot combs and perms. There is a line in one of my poems where I talk about our hair and you know... there is no conversation about our hair without perms. It was funny, mostly to the four black students when I gave a demonstration of pressing someones hair. "But if you put a comb that close to someone's scalp, won't they get burned?" She asked. "Yes, sweetheart, they will."

I closed the class with a poem about what our people are going through in the congo. My little poem, I know, could never scratch the surface of what they are going though, who am I kidding. But it did open a conversation about it that they may not have had anyway.

After class they all wanted to know if I was going to be performing somewhere this weekend. "I don't plan to, but I'd love to. What's going on?" "Oh, we'll find something, put something together. You do coffee houses? That cool?" "Sure, let me know."

After class I walked with a few of the students (the four black ones. Hey, it just happened like that.) and one of the young ladies opened her backpack and said, "I'm taking a poetry class. I wrote some yesterday." I'm usually nervous about that because if it's bad poetry I'm sitting there with on my face wondering what to say. I ususally settle for, "Mmmmmmmm?!mmmm. Thank you for sharing that." But this sista was really good. Uga muga, what is her name? How could I forget her name? If you're reading this sis, I'm sory I forgot your name, but I really really did enjoy your poems. I'll see you on Monday. Yes, I'll be back on Monday, but not doing much poetry. I'm sharing short stories Monday. Looking forward to it.

I'm back at the house and will do some more writing. Much more writing before I take a nap. Just wanted to say that I had a good day today and I'm feeling more and more me.

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