All posts tagged: poetry

The Yellow Children of Monticello by Pam Ward      

The Yellow Children of Monticello for my cousins, descendant of Sally Hemmings   Before Roosevelt Way before J.F.K. Before Clinton claimed, “I Did Not Have Sex!” on tv. Before Monica Lewinsky tripped & forgot to wash her dress. Thomas Jefferson was banging out tots like a fiend. Making a banquet out of Sally Hemmings’ body he created more kids than he could track. Jefferson kept his black children under lock & key all while singing “Oh Say Can We See.” All his pickaninnies, tall and skinny looked exactly like him and nobody blinked nobody batted a lash seeing these yellow children of Monticello springing everywhere like weeds. They heard Thomas’ cry for freedom turn into bedroom deceits. They watched their father, a boll weevil, feast on fresh drawls like a cotton gin separating seeds. And when they realized he would never, never, never, never, never, never, never, set them free they read his Declaration of Independence they waited for a harmony of coughs they watched this ‘Apostle of the Constitution” and willed bronchitis to drum …

My Poems Are Moving

Dear Pens Up Press Readers, For those who have been reading my work on this blog, please note that I will be moving my poems and stories to a new blog on the website Kristin’s Poetry Corner. There may be a post here occasionally, but it will be far less frequent. Also, Uproar Poetry poems and events will be featured almost entirely in the Uproar Facebook group. There are a few reasons for these changes… First, as Pens Up Press grows, we want this blog and website to focus on serving current and aspiring authors and general Pens Up Press readers. Second, I wanted to provide a space where friends, family, and the general public could read and follow my work on a regular basis without also having to read about the ins and outs of the publishing industry if that does not interest them Third, separating my own work from the business will make it easier for people to find, read through, and understand this site. Please continue following Pens Up Press (this blog) if you …

Capitalism Over Cupcakes

Capitalism Over Cupcakes by Kristin Richardson Jordan we used to be revolutionaries together and debate capitalism over cupcakes in the school cafeteria, with sad sighs at the contradictions and we used to share favors like secrets. thoughtful and trusting before you knew I was a… before you knew wish April had kept her mouth shut but it wasn’t her. or me. but you talking big new worlds. but no faggots allowed wish I had known back then that your “struggle” was a lie some funny type of conditional pride as despite your hard core views you tacitly accepted genocide (c)2015 Kristin Richardson Jordan Continuing the poetry challenge. This is #5 of 5.

Cliffs Leaves Locks and Valleys

I admit I run up on cliffs then have to retreat But its because there’re these Lines in the sand that I just can’t see. Feels like sometimes I touch a stone and it turns into a leaf I seek freedom but find locks with keys out of reach I mean it’s like damn, can I get a map? I try to climb mountains but get trapped in these cracks I mean why Is the land set up like that? And then of course I have my own cliffs, traps, and dark valleys So life’s real interesting with all of these territories But what’s funny is that Despite all Slowly I’m starting to love even a crack’s glory starting to love riding the valleys edges and hills of my story And I’m even learning to love unlocking locks and making keys And appreciating all the sky’s Between mistaking rocks for leaves (c)2015 Kristin Richardson Jordan Continuing the poetry challenge. This is #4 of 5.

Justice is Like Baobab Trees

Baobab trees are known for their swollen stems and their ability to hold gallons of water their ancestral connection spiritually And their vitamin C rich fruit called ‘cream of tartar’ They live for thousands of years and share all that they’ve got with other plants animals and human beings Justice is like baobab trees its fruits feed revolutionaries and it’s strikingly beautiful even when there’re no leaves rationally, justice always holds water emotionally, it shades truth and the strength that taught her Lovingly, it’s just a sturdy beast with a trunk dozens of meters high and perpetually deep (c)2015 Kristin Richardson Jordan Continuing the poetry challenge. This is #3 of 5.

Mules Fight Back

Continuing the poetry challenge. This is #2 of 5. Mules Fight Back I’ve been taught that the Black woman’s “lazy” the Black woman’s “mean” She’s just this crazy “Emasculator” or a “baby machine” A “hoochie mama” or a gluttonous mess I’m taught I’m nonsexual, oversexed or “sassy” at best And I’ve also been called stupid, emotional, unclean I’ve even been judged by those who call me their “queen” And I work like a beast but am stuck outside America’s dream Just trapped and attacked then labeled as “mean” But I am still here and I still demand to be seen I survive all! I victoriously breathe See you can think me your burden or feign me your daughter But I’m far from helpless I. am. impossible to slaughter I am neither a “hoe” Nor a “bitch” Nor a “foreigner” And though cops may kill me I’m far more than victim or mourner Cause I am the point where gendered race meets the principled argument and the shouts from the streets Put me down, cover me …

“Mother America”

Mother America by Kristin Richardson Jordan America is the abusive mother I never should have had Way to young to have children She never really wanted me anyway Yet here I am outside the womb and taking up space Somehow she bore those hours of labor and nursed me so as a child I managed not to die but I still have this suicidal behavior and I won’t forget the times we’ve fought and how she beat me, my next of kin just so selfish yet still my mother I am often ashamed to admit that I often wonder if I might actually kill her in the middle of the night like it was just all wrong from the start but now it’s all stated and she’s right here and I’m right here as America still gave birth to me   (c)2015 Kristin Richardson Jordan   This post is responding toTiff Roma‘s 5 day poem challenge. This is my first of 5. I challenge Xi’an X Powers, Paris Amari, Raymond Vasquez, Janet Williams, K Qamar Cruz, …

TOMORROW A Lighter Shade of Black by Janet E. Williams

A Lighter Shade of Black by Janet Williams is now at sister’s uptown bookstore PUBLIC READING AND BOOK SIGNING Tomorrow!! Wednesday Feb 25th 6pm – 8pm at Sister’s Uptown Bookstore 1942 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10032 (212) 862-3680 All are welcome!! Lilly has just enough black not to be white and just enough white not to be black. As a slave caught in between two worlds she is kept out of the sun so as not to be burned by it’s rays and to keep her skin that tinge that the massa wanted. She is taught that she is slave yet she is also different from other slaves, distanced from those who work the fields. Her mother worries constantly about her virginity. In a boarder line that keeps her from fully feeling a part of either world, Lilly entertains notions of freedom while struggling with various challenges and figuring out her identity as a creamed colored girl. Through all her challenges, Lilly somehow finds the courage to redefine herself and chart a new path. This is …

NEW TITLE: A Lighter Shade of Black by Janet E. Williams (Feb 25th)

Lilly has just enough black not to be white and just enough white not to be black. She is a Slave caught between two worlds… Pens Up Press is proud to announce a newly published book from our press: A Lighter Shade of Black by emerging author Janet E. Wilson! Book release, public reading and book signing on the 25th 6:00PM to 8:00PM at Sister’s Uptown Bookstore in Harlem, New York. All are welcome!! Details on the book and book signing below.