A friend informs me, apropos Nikki Giovanni, one of stars of this week’s EOW roundup, that she has authored poems that suggest she might not have been the most appropriate speaker to conclude last Tuesday’s memorial service at Virginia Tech:
i used to dream militant/dreams of taking over america to show / these white folks how it should be done / i used to dream radical dreams / of blowing everyone away with my perceptive powers of correct analysis/ i even used to think i’d be the one /to stop the riot and negotiate the peace /then i awoke and dug / that if i dreamed natural / dreams of being a natural /woman doing what a woman /does when she’s natural / i would have a revolution
i wanted to write / a poem / that rhymes / but revolution doesn’t lend / itself to be-bopping
then my neighbor / who thinks i hate / asked — do you ever write / tree poems — i like trees / so i thought / i’ll write a beautiful green tree poem / peeked from my window / to check the image / noticed that the school yard was covered/ with asphalt / no green — no trees grow / in manhattan
then, well, i thought the sky / i’ll do a big blue sky poem / but all the clouds have winged / low since no-Dick was elected
so i thought again / and it occurred to me / maybe i shouldn’t write / at all / but clean my gun / and check my kerosene supply
perhaps these are not poetic / times / at all
These presumably were written before the age of video.