23 October 2008

Poem: Palinode, Once Removed by Kyle Dargan

In honor of a missed connection between myself and Kyle Dargan last week (and today, too, since I was supposed to be off but.....), here's one of Mr. Post No Ills' poems from Bouquet of Hungers, winner of the 2008 Hurston Wright Legacy Award in Poetry.

Palinode, Once Removed
Bloomington, Indiana

The Negro is America's metaphor
Richard Wright

The girl from Martinsville sets her eyes on me
like they are elbows -- intently boring
at my cheeks. This sentiment bleeds
throughout my class. Slouched, heads
tilted, they wait for the day I come in,
pull out a handkerchief, a vial of alcohol,
and wipe this vexing complexion from my skin.

Before I left home, Uncle called -- said,
"You're going to teach them people, huh?
Well, teach 'em.:

The day we pursue metaphor, I will
teach them about the brain -- how there is a center
to catch discrepancy between the expected
and the perceived. Stimulate the mechanism,
you are working in metaphor.

Though surprising
I am not a metaphor. This is: I am a period,
small and dark. If you read me correctly,
you are to stop. Pause. Breathe.

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