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From “The Stuff of Hollywood” by Niki Herd


From “The Stuff of Hollywood” Niki Herd After ice cream. Somewhere off Clear Creek & 196. Makeshift sign. Uncle Sam white as the lines on the flag in hand mouths love it or leave it. You must admire the gall of white men in carjacked country. Nearby a brief pond. Its skin a stillness. Then up. A bird of prey searches for its— / Goose. On a depthless pond. Deepest tunnel of unbecoming. How does one undrown from the incivility of this world? In the distant. Chimes. A musical score. A willow bends its back toward dirt & some star will [...]

From “The Stuff of Hollywood” by Niki Herd2024-02-27T14:50:18-05:00

Word of the Week: obfuscate (ŎB-fǝ-skāt)


Word of the Week: obfuscate (ŎB-fǝ-skāt) Definition (Verb) To cast into darkness or shadow; to cloud, obscure. In Context “By trying to expand their opposition into a national, rather than a sectional, battle, southern senators hoped to obfuscate the true issue at stake in the debate – the inherent inequality and repression of the system of white supremacy that they championed.” Keith M. Finley, Delaying the Dream: Southern Senators and the Fight Against Civil Rights, 1938-1965, 2008.

Word of the Week: obfuscate (ŎB-fǝ-skāt)2024-02-22T15:48:12-05:00

A Poem for You: Seven Steps to Heaven by Tony Medina


Seven Steps to Heaven Tony Medina If every bomb  Appeared in the sky a dove Shrapnel into rain If vengeance vanquished  From the cursed lips of weak men An idea never taking root If every tank vanished If by chance a miracle Peace reclaims the land If laughter broke out Like wars fought with satire’s Pugilist punning  What room would there be For anger what bitter root Not allowed to stretch Its tentacles  Through the hearts of men hardened By indifference  What will we bequeath  Our children if not a world Evermore human Copyright © 2024 by Tony Medina. Originally published [...]

A Poem for You: Seven Steps to Heaven by Tony Medina2024-02-22T16:25:15-05:00

A Poem for You: Everybody’s Autobiography by Tracy K. Smith


Everybody’s Autobiography Tracy K. Smith I find myself most alone  When I believe I am striving for glory.  These times, cool and sharp,   A monument of moon-white stone  lodges in place near my heart.  In a dream, my children   Glisten inside raindrops, or teardrops.  Like strangers, like seeds of children.   I will only be allowed to claim them  If I consent to love everyone’s children.  If I consent to love everyone’s children,  Only then will I be allowed to claim them,  My strangers, my seeds of children,  Glistening inside raindrops or teardrops  In my dream. Children  Lodged in place near my [...]

A Poem for You: Everybody’s Autobiography by Tracy K. Smith2024-02-20T17:14:43-05:00

A Poem for You: Theme for English B by Langston Hughes


Theme for English B Langston Hughes The instructor said,     Go home and write     a page tonight.     And let that page come out of you—     Then, it will be true. I wonder if it's that simple? I am twenty-two, colored, born in Winston-Salem. I went to school there, then Durham, then here to this college on the hill above Harlem. I am the only colored student in my class. The steps from the hill lead down into Harlem, through a park, then I cross St. Nicholas, Eighth Avenue, Seventh, and I come to the Y, the Harlem Branch Y, where I take [...]

A Poem for You: Theme for English B by Langston Hughes2024-01-29T17:10:43-05:00

Verbs Add Power!


Verbs Add Power! by Stephanie Whetstone As writers, we want to sound smart and savvy on the page, to fit into the lofty academic world at places like Princeton. Many writers go about it by adding excessive adverbs and adjectives or obscure language to their prose. The theory might be, "If it's difficult to understand, it must sound intelligent!" I wholeheartedly disagree. The best writing is clear and concise and logically structured. It conveys ideas in a way that invites debate and collaboration, not exclusivity. The true power, intelligence, and elegance of a sentence comes from its powerful verbs. Too often, [...]

Verbs Add Power!2024-02-22T15:46:36-05:00

A poem for you: The Lost Breath of Trees by Colleen J. McElroy


The Lost Breath of Trees Colleen J. McElroy an oratorio for vanishing voices, collapsing universes, and a falling tree. —Lena Herzog, Last Whispers 1. in the days before urban sprawl this town remained no more than cow pastures logs skidding down to the harbor gulls riding them like surfboards a green belt embraced the one road north a hundred years they say until the lease expired in those days trees lining each side threw shade over hippies and geese bound to the same direction this was the rainforest and we took for granted the trees that sheltered the sun in shimmering [...]

A poem for you: The Lost Breath of Trees by Colleen J. McElroy2024-01-24T10:05:04-05:00

A Poem for You: Interview by Jordan Kapono Nakamura


Interview Jordan Kapono Nakamura I want this job because  it sounds like something I could do  and I’m hungry, physically.  I have extensive experience  in studying what water says as it plummets. Yes, I can carry more than 35lbs, but what  does that have to do with anything?  I’ve wrestled angelic beings  and the nine lives of pathological compulsion. I have sworn an oath against the roman calendar  and its derivative mutations.  I can be firm as cold turkey.  My two letters of recommendation are f and u. They can be used in surf, which  is one way to step on [...]

A Poem for You: Interview by Jordan Kapono Nakamura2024-01-24T10:05:53-05:00

Word of the Week: inchoate (ĭn-KŌ-ĭt)


Word of the Week: inchoate (ĭn-KŌ-ĭt) Definition (Adjective) Just begun, incipient; in an initial or early stage; hence elementary, imperfect, undeveloped, immature. In Context “In black America, cultural conservatism takes the form of a inchoate xenophobia (e.g., against whites, Jews, and Asians), systemic sexism, and homophobia.” Cornel West, Race Matters, 1993.

Word of the Week: inchoate (ĭn-KŌ-ĭt)2023-11-13T09:14:45-05:00

A Poem for You: Remember by Joy Harjo


Remember Joy Harjo Remember the sky that you were born under, know each of the star’s stories. Remember the moon, know who she is. Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the strongest point of time. Remember sundown and the giving away to night. Remember your birth, how your mother struggled to give you form and breath. You are evidence of her life, and her mother’s, and hers. Remember your father. He is your life, also. Remember the earth whose skin you are: red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth brown earth, we are earth. Remember the plants, trees, [...]

A Poem for You: Remember by Joy Harjo2023-11-27T15:32:16-05:00
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