Since I found out she died, I've been trying to write a poem in homage to her. But looking back with those words in mind, it feels as if all of my work is in homage to her. I really believe I wouldn't be doing what I do without the influence of women like Rich, Walker and Lorde. When I write, I always feel like I'm taking a risk. And without the courage of these women leading the way, I probably wouldn't take the chance.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the honesty of anger, the kind of anger I felt when I wrote a poem for Trayvon Martin, the teenage boy who was killed because someone deemed his dark skin "suspicious." I shared that poem at New Poetry Mission, and I'd like to share it with you now. Here's a video of my reading, brought to you by Litseen. I'd like to thank Adrienne Rich for opening the doors wide enough for my anger to pass through.
I'll be reading this and other poems tonight at MAPP, Mission Arts and Performance Project. There will also be live music, theater, film screenings and more, with art and healing and transformation taking place all over San Francisco's Mission District. Check out the whole program here, and the program for the event I'm a part of, Reflexiones, here.
This is for Trayvon.