Sonia's Poem of the Week #38
Only rarely does writing sound like something spoken right into your ear. 

I feel caught by this poem, taken up by its voice and carried swiftly through its two stanzas. Its language has the urgency of speech and the musicality of verse. "Fuck Coltrane and music and clouds drifting in the sky." A vigorous, groaning love poem. 

Feeling Fucked Up
By Etheridge Knight

Lord she’s gone done left me done packed / up and split
and I with no way to make her
come back and everywhere the world is bare
bright bone white    crystal sand glistens
dope death dead dying and jiving drove
her away made her take her laughter and her smiles
and her softness and her midnight sighs—

Fuck Coltrane and music and clouds drifting in the sky
fuck the sea and trees and the sky and birds
and alligators and all the animals that roam the earth
fuck marx and mao fuck fidel and nkrumah and
democracy and communism fuck smack and pot
and red ripe tomatoes fuck joseph fuck mary fuck
god jesus and all the disciples fuck fanon nixon
and malcolm fuck the revolution fuck freedom fuck
the whole muthafucking thing
all i want now is my woman back
so my soul can sing

This poem is from The Essential Etheridge Knight (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1986). Knight dropped out of high-school to serve in the Korean war. A shrapnel wound led to a drug addiction when he returned home. He was eventually convicted of robbery and sentenced to eight years in prison, where he began writing poetry. His first collection said the following on the back cover: “I died in Korea from a shrapnel wound, and narcotics resurrected me. I died in 1960 from a prison sentence and poetry brought me back to life.” Knight became an important member of the Black Arts Movement and won a Pulitzer Prize for his poetry. [This biographical info comes from the Poetry Foundation.] 

The Postscript

1. A hilarious TikTok depiction of over-active listening. Affirmation all day baby. 
2. Some mind-bogglingly geometric sandcastles. A sharp edge in sand is not actually something I can process. 
3. Excellent and disturbing account of Emily Ratajkowski's quest to have ownership over her own image

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Sonia Feldman · 2529 Detroit Ave · Cleveland, OH 44113 · USA

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