Footsteps linger outside the door.
The person you were—an imprint in my synapses—
your specter firing between the walls.
I have barely written any poetry. I am looking through my files and the numbers are dismal.
I started the year off by writing one poem.
I wrote six poems in March.
Four in May.
And so far four in June.
I’m trying to think positive. When I list them out like that it doesn’t seem so bad, but when I compare to how prolific I was in my previous years I feel like I’m being lazy and not putting my all into it.
Perhaps I’m being too hard on myself? I feel like I should have gotten back on track by now. After the death of my grandmother, I gave myself time to grieve though I was still writing. Even that eventually dried up.
I need to be kinder to myself I suppose. I know I do, but I’m such a cruel mistress.
Mark it. I finally got a roll from my Diana Mini developed! They came out really well! I had been reading that the quality of the Diana cameras varied, but I really like what I see.
I took this photo of my mother while at Peaceful Alternatives Counseling. Thus this roll is from late September of last year for that is when I was there last.
I used Lomography’s Color Negative 400 film. For the most part, I like it! The colors are very pretty. I noticed it does have a lot of grain though at least when it comes to the Diana Mini. But I think it’s charming!
I was feeling miserable one day as I am aught to do. I went on Facebook, of course, to share how miserable I was. I complained about my lack of companionship or in other words my lack of life.
I don’t leave the house often and this inspired me to compare myself to the great Emily Dickinson since she was a poet as I am. The difference I immediately saw was that she wore white and I wear black all the time.
I’ve been thinking since then about that comparison of poets and fashion. The relationship between poetry and fashion. What do you think of when you think of a poet? A cursory search on Google brought me to berets! I myself think of something like this:
Reminds me of Keats for some reason!
I started to think. How would I as a poet like to be seen? I like the thought of being a ‘witchy Emily Dickinson’. (I legit said this to my friend not an hour an hour ago). What does a witchy Emily Dickinson look like? Stevie Nicks!
I even have my own color palette picked out. The base color is black (ofc!) but I want to accent it with grey, white, and red!
watch the wolves they know the test
and what they don’t they sniff out the rest
Lying at the foot of grandmother’s armrest
Watching the rise and fall of her breast
Readying themselves for a feast
I can see something in his teeth
A gleam, a pearl, a bone, a key
Oh I think it might be me
Why is it…that I am supposed to be a strong woman. A strong black woman supposedly. That’s all I hear when my friends–especially if they are non-black– tell me. You’re so strong! I can totally see you being a single mother! As if that’s a compliment.
Who wants to be a single mother? Does any mother really wish that on herself? Who would choose willingly to be a single mother? Certainly not I. I’ve watched my mother go through hell raising me. Always trying to scrape together money to pay the bills. Always worrying about money.
My mother essentially comes from a long line of single mothers or if you will women who wore the pants in the family.
My grandmother, god bless her soul, raised my mother and uncle on her own even when she was married. You know the old story. Cheating, abusive husband.
Her mother dealt with pretty much the same. Philandering husband. Eight children to raise.
Are they strong women?
Did they choose that life?
So don’t you ever in your life look at me and call me a strong black woman. I will gouge your eyes like the harpy I am.
Music is my constant companion. Especially in times such as these.