A Night of Poems: D.C. Arts Festival

Two friends and I went to the D.C Arts Festival and I made it a task to write one poem for every place we stopped. I included four of them below.

“Unrelated” yet notable note: With D.C’s rapid gentrification, and despite the smiling faces, there existed such a tension while moving through the streets. While in some ways content, it seemed, personally, that every new shop that we stepped in, It was as if multitudes were stepping on and obliviously trampling on ashes of which they do not know.

Maybe I’m being dramatic.

Maybe not.

Here goes.

 

The First Thing I Noticed

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I see sign.

Loud. Daring.

Shifting.

Projected images upon white side

of building.

“WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE TO STAND UP AND END WHITE SUPREMACY”

How. Convenient.

How. Needed to be heard

As if

no one already here has

said it.

And I hear

in the quiet

beyond the displays

beyond the chatter

beyond the lights

beyond the laughter

beyond the “hip” and “cultured”

beyond driver’s horns

beyond the programs and dancing

beyond the action, that is,

abstract show,

 

“Ma…”

“…where’d our city go?”

 

“Here today, gone tomorrow”

 

 

This second poem below is a reflection of my first experience drinking tea from a lovely place called “Calabash”. This tea bar is owned by a 5th generation Jamaican Maroon and Naturalist. 

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2. They Call It “Calabash”: A Return to Liquid Roots

I stepped into a piece

of ancestral home.

I did not see.

I did not hear.

But,

I felt.

And I

tasted.

Let me ease,

help me please

with mother roots

and divine shoots.

Tea leaves,

spices,

belong to body.

I feel heat.

This heat bleeds

a life refreshing.

Anew.  A blessing.

Now,

I see.

 

 

I am still drinking the tea and we head on to a bright place. Not entirely sure of the name, but there was so much energetic dancing. Not the dancing that I am used to, but a sort of wild, off-beat, yet innocently enthusiastic dancing. There were two black individuals I focused on: one male, one female. I wanted to record the vibe that I got from them.

Just my interpretation. 

 

3. Untitled

I have love running down my body.

And it feels so good.

I have vibrations tingling beneath my color

an elation of shivers beneath my skin

a type of shade within the shadows

a blending

incredibly light.

I see Life.

happiness in varying forms

in their purest form.

 

I am watching one.

She is crushing her anxiety

she has jazz hands raising

praising to the piped ceiling.

Her face resists wrinkles

from smiling too hard.

 

I am recreating scenes with my fingers

and I have chai blowing hot kisses

on every muscle of my body.

 

I am watching the second.

All in black.

black beautiful skinned

black hatted muser.

His smile is black gold upon

pearled white teeth.

He alone is movie.

He pours out a joy

in all directions

with each step

And it’s great…

 

They are directed to no one.

 

 

Our last stop was a place full of music. Art. Innovation. Fellow HU Students. And so much style. 

4.  …

Neon lights and black bodies meld

in simple

unified space.

Patterns welcome,

they jump from clothing

and  embrace warmly.

Voices.

This is settling place

with Afro beat as constitution.

Ladders of new beginning

a place of modern

recollection.

 

We don’t remain photos.

We are

motion pictures upon yellows

and all the bright hues

they said our skin

would clash with.

We mix with neon green

and mismatched expressions.

A type of epistemology.

 

How do you explain this melding?

This gourd

it’s trembling

and it makes

my chest

flutter.

 

 

 

©2017 Afroetry Works

 

 

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