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.


Lady Lazarus

We tell our own stories, and listen to others’, to understand life and our place in it. We tell these stories so we won’t be alone.


Lady Lazarus

I wish I could say I died once
but that’s not so.
Maybe I should confess
death found me alluring enough,
it returned for encores.

It could not bear to leave
with my taste still lingering
in its mouth. The way I gave over,
still thinking this was just courtship,
thinking I knew the dance.

Seventh time the seal.
I was promised. Death’s first dances
led me with skirts awhirl. Fourth, fifth
sixth, it dipped me low, then into
a tarantella of motion.

Death spun me away, drew me back.
Its cool fingertips my only anchor. Revelation
near, death paused its unmasking for one
final sip from my parted lips. A hard insistence
laid across its shoulder. Life was cutting in.