The Main Event, by stacy-marie ishmael - Archive
I repent better in the waning / season
We might find a humanity that is not asking to be seen, but demanding instead.
I mean, / what pearl forms around a grain of plastic in an oyster?
the dead are changeless. / They grow no older. / It is I who have changed,
i want to talk about respect. / how even the desperate deserve it.
did you know roots are easy / to snap?
The After Party: "community must not mean a shedding of our differences, nor the pathetic pretense that these differences do not exist"
Do not raise your small voice against it. And do not / take cover.
It feels better to move with time than it does to constantly race against it.
hope bleeds slowly from my mouth / into the dirt that covers us all
The After Party: "Identity is a hallucination...and everything is a story"
The magic settles uneasy; it turns out fairy dust was always / fake.
I ask that they describe / an object right in front of them, to make / it come alive, and one writes about death,
Reporters & fathers call your generation “the worst.”
Everyone loves that familiar warbeat: I know all the words to this war.
It doesn’t matter that / there is nowhere to run to.
I learned it’s okay to glance down / into the sea. So many lessons bubble up if you know / where to look.
we used our words we used what words we had to weld, / what words we had we wielded
There are politics to death / and here politics performs / its own autopsies
I would laugh if I was not being smothered by the violence of imagination
To live another person’s biography is not the same as to live his or her life.
I address you aftermath, you as vengeance.
I want to be the woman who sits
What if we joined our sorrows, I’m saying.
The After Party: Dispatch from Fantasy Island
Because you still listen, because in times like these
I need to learn
There’s more to MLK than “I Have a Dream”
I always thought language was / Akin to the body
The perfect moment is now.
you cannot catch / my rhythm
what advice do the drowned have for the burned?
And still a world begins its furious erasure—
After that came a sadness so big it made everyone
Many of them remain unaware of . . .
How am I to understand the fluidity with which we continue in our days?
I must write the same poem over and over,
You do own to hear me faintly /
tired i count the ways in which it determines my life
Between the idea / and the reality
The challenge is in the moment /
Feel the water cannons start to press through the walls and soak your feet.
There comes a time when you have to say something. You have to make a little noise.
but when we are silent
I wondered how long 400 years is, / how many bodies, /
I would call my friends on other devices;
Even what was beyond us / was recast in our image;
We are spendthrifts with words,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward, /
Someone is dancing us.
I have been woman / for a long time
Please remain calm,
The worst injury is feeling you don't belong so much
Our bodies spun / On swivels of bone & faith, / Through a lyric slipknot
Beyond dreams and the arc of justice
awards medals to generals
to dare to have nothing so much to lose
I do not believe as some / that the vote is an end
No air. Breathe in.
let this be the healing
All of it has always seemed so arbitrary to me,
and i become relic
I love your hair / You always wear such interesting things
get up and try to do something
In the beginning before the beginning, there were drums, and hymns,
T.S. Eliot said that humankind cannot bear very much reality.
O whatever God or whatever ancestor that wins in the next life
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
No faith comes without cost /
Here, blackness isn’t a commodity; it isn’t inherently political;
I give you / a legacy / of doers
What to do with this knowledge
It is time to ask very hard questions and to take very rude positions.
The first Pride was a riot
I am scared / is not a good enough reason to not get out of bed
i can’t stand your ground.
The press is so powerful in its image-making role
“I did know, though, and I was silenced.”
May you be comforted
I didn’t know and nobody told me
"Hey, what's keeping you busy these days?"
The dwarfs found out how to turn lead into gold by doing it the hard way.
Somehow, blackface wasn’t even the worst of it
Bask in your own heartbreak
we protested but not enough
what are you doing to make revolution irresistible
Go the way your blood beats
Instead of stressed I lie here charmed
Let the horizon be what it is
Welcome to the Main Event