World-building

According to Junot Diaz (and ok, a lot of other writers), world-building is important in all fiction writing. Actually, I’d expand that thought to all writing–and life.

Writers or not, we all are world builders. We choose between the couscous or the rice pilaf. We choose friends and lifemates. With every decision, we make our world.

Juan Felipe Herrera unveiled his project, la familia (the family), for his stint as our new U.S. Poet Laureate. La familia (the family) is a collaborative project open to all Americans to help in telling America’s (our) story.

World-building, if you will, and giving us all a part in it.

I’m excited about having a chance to be part of such a big thing. I want to dive in and add my voice to project…BUT I’m also afraid. Afraid my voice is too insignificant, my writing too juvenile. That I’m too…silly, somehow.

So I’ve decided to start on a small scale and locally (or as local as the internet and social media allows) to begin, InCollaboration, my own collaborative poem project with you. I invite you — poet and non-poet — to help me fashion a series of poems.

Together we’ll build a world.

 

I Often Feel Silly

It grabs on the point of waking
a previous night’s remark
or the moment of my birth.

In the middle of joyful dance
I become ankles, elbows,
geometric angles.

After the echo of our lovemaking,
I cringe. There is no place, no
time, it is not. Even here–

my voice, now,
speaking to you.

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Things Afoot

Rambunctious. Radical. Raring to go. Reckless.

Have you ever felt like that? I feel all of it and more. I’m coming out of my skin.  Out of this old skin, into something…new?

Or is this just me finally coming into bloom?

Whatever it is, it’s electrifying. Or, in the words of poet Nikky Finney, pencilfrying.

Something is definitely afoot.  Watch this spot!

 

The Blackened Alphabet
by Nikky Finney

 

While others sleep
My black skillet sizzles
Alphabets dance and I hit the return key
On my tired But ever jumping eyes
I want more I hold out for some    more
While others just now turn over
shut down alarms
I am on I am on
I am pencilfrying
sweet Black alphabets
in an allnight oil

 

Lynn Carol Nikky Finney, “The Blackened Alphabet” from Rice. Copyright © 1995 published by Sister Vision: Black Women and Women of Color Press.