May 21, 2018

GOLDEN SHOVEL for SPLIT THIS ROCK 2008 to 2018 -- & Beyond

It’s Poems of Provocation & Witness Sarah & Melissa tells us, asks: Don’t

you want to join this poetic intervention in the public space? where you

sweat in morning yoga with Kazim, with Susan, with Yael the curly yogini, hear

poets you’ve only read, see poets you’ve never seen before, hear this

conscience of poetry Sister Sonia chant, I say Peace is my Hammer

poetry is a verb, Money’s not speech, Centos bounce off the pillars of power, ring

the bells of Congress, the White House, then love bombs I’m

dropping on Dupont Circle with Kelsey, John, Melissa, Martha, Katie & Sunu, gonna

be in 3 places at once to hear biker poets, professors, street poets, split

myself to hear Carolyn, Alice as if she were President, & share Naomi’s cookies, this

is how we leap from insight to the poem, how we buzzz with Tiffany’s bees, rock

with Regie wrapped in his boa, snap with the DC slam poets, and

worker poets, the poetic army of staff & volunteers, even poets who have split

to the beyond: June Jordan, Paul Weinman, Mahmoud Darwish, Jayne Cortez it

is always that there are more dead each year, gathered in words & photos wide

angle, close up from Jill in torn jeans & Kristen, & new tee-shirts when

we arrive from Susan, Jaime, I look for Greg, Sonja, mark my program & I

find old poets I never knew, new voices in print on stage, make River Flags, split

time for listening, find Nathaniel’s wall numbers, hear Martin say this

is a rant, because the title is long, these words meant not to rock

us to sleep but to shake us loose, disrupt Joe says, the old story, shout, stand

& applaud, hear Anne urge find projects to inspire, don’t be paralyzed by

the problem, Ocean: every poem a new beginning, Jennifer: my

whole life is a political poem — hammering with Langston by our side.

(The idea for this poem came at the 2016 Split This Rock from a workshop on the new poetic form invented by Terrance Hayes "golden shovel" & it was completed late in 2017.  The line of poetry which the end words form is from the Langston Hughes poem, "Big Buddy," from which the Split This Rock festival gets its name.)

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