By Advocate Contributors
Originally published on Advocate.com October 06 2011 5:00 AM ET
In the following pages, meet the black, lesbian poets who are touring the country with a message about beauty, fluid form, and the transformative power of poetry.
LOVE the poet, Cave Canem, t'ai freedom, and Solrose and Punany, and others will takes center stage for the second annual Revival, Black Lesbian Poets Tour making stops in D.C., Brooklyn, Chicago, and Philadelphia. The Revival hosts a night of music, libation, and word — all in a salon-styled concert.
"It was really interactive," said LOVE the poet, author of the new book, Black Marks on White Paper. "The audience was just as much a part of the stage as we are. It was a give-and-take process that allowed for something different to happen. I think lives were changed."
The tour is sponsored by The Rainbow Collective, Poets & Writers, and The Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies. Here are the stops on the tour:
Today: Washington, D.C., with Bettina Judd
Friday, 2011: Brooklyn, N.Y.. with R. Erica Doyle
Saturday: Philadelphia, Pa., with E. Kairo Miles
October 14, 2011: Chicago, Ill., with Patience Soprano
But if you can't get to a show, meet the women and some of their best work on the following pages.
Judgment (an excerpt)
By LOVE The Poet
I have nothing but goodness in my chest
And as sure as my heart beats in my left breast
I sleep without rest
Because my family don’t embrace my goodness
We digress while every year continues to progress
and I begin to love this person of the same sex limitless
I am depressed.
Because whenever I discuss my love’s diligence
I see my daddy’s heartbreak with disgust
With prayers of a Holy water based ointment to
relieve me of this sickness.
He deems the people like me wicked.
Thinks that some one defiled his child’s pureness
Says that my sexuality will be the double death of me,
and my ministry miniscule until I go into the churches and be the preacher’s tool
to fool every person in the pew,
all three overflow rooms, and even the deacons in the vestibule.
Convincing them that I am a bless-ed poet and not because my words show it and not
because my walk’s fluent with a humble bop to it
But because I don’t sin.
I don’t sleep tormented by the likes of him.
I like men
So just call me Mrs. Johnson.
Hear my words echo off of the chapel ceilings
Like who I am sleeping with is any of their business
Regardless of the fact that me and my woman don’t even have to touch hands
and I would still be indulging in the sweetness of her spirit.
fourth: a blues
By t’ai freedom ford
she taste like the color blue…all beautifully bruised and melancholy on my tongue. like blue glinting golden…bee-stung and swollen in a field of cotton…like blue verging black until all memory’s forgotten…she taste like blues…like muddy waters…like daughters of the dust…like mississippi goddamn…like thrust and thirst…like heartbreak so new it tastes like trust at first…like a wound you must nurse with your own salty tears…she taste like blue…cause that’s the color of her: fears/fierce…like an azure hue reminiscent of sky breaking wide open…blue like colored girls who done tried dope when hope wasn’t enough…when that man wasn’t enough…when being tough wasn’t enough…blue like nina’s voice and storm clouds…she rains blue-black…arm, tattooed jack, and sometimes her loyalty is tragic…still she blue like magic…all stardust and confetti and taps of wands…and when the house of cards collapses she responds…with jesus on her breath…eyes watery with devotion…taste like blue: royal and periwinkle and aqua…blue like the fifth chakra vibrating her throat translucent…rocking with holyghost trying to shake loose sin…within her, blues run deep and honeysuckle sweet like grandmama’s hambone on a sunday morn…blue like early morning beckoning sinners toward their reckoning…blue like night sky sucking up light like a magic trick…tragic as guitar strings breaking like my heart…she taste blue like tragedy…all shakespearean and love unfulfilled…but that’s what she do…slips into characters like new skin…ingenue…sparkling blue on silver screens…beautifully blue…making art outta life…all spit-shined and bruised like the blues of the south…a new shade of truth…exploding its name in my mouth…she taste like…