From my very first post I wanted to pay homage to the speech which inspired the title of my blog, Ain't I aWoman? by Sojourner Truth. Such a beautiful speech, such a beautiful name, such a beautiful woman. It is one of my favorite pieces. I strive to emulate this style in my own work. Poetic and powerful. Honest and unafraid. Memorable. And I like brevity. It too is beautiful. This is the standard I wish to be held to as I explore the question with you ~ ain't I a writer? "Obliged to you for hearing me, and I do have a few things more to say..."
I've been feeling bad that I had to miss a special event last night that I had really been looking forward to. It was a special ekphrastic poetry reading with improvised music by a local band that I'm quite fond of. It was set up in conjunction with our museum of fine art to celebrate their exhibit called Humanimal. I have been in to see the show a couple of times but am sure I wouldn't have written anything in response to it had it not been for the call for poems to be read at the event. While I liked many of the works in the exhibit I was most struck by this hauntingly beautiful, and very large, painting entitled Adult Elephant by Ivete Zigelboim, an artist based in NYC. When I began writing about the painting I intended to speak about elementary elephant issues; loss of habitat, poaching, etc. but something entirely different came out. I enjoyed the process, and the result. Reading with the band to improvised music is something I do on a fairly regular basis and I have found that I write differently when I am intending to read a poem aloud, then when I don't have that intention. Since I couldn't share it at the reading, I thought I would share it with you.
A poem in two voices
We have to talk about it, eventually.
No, we really don’t.
We don’t. That’s the whole point.
The point of what?
Yes, we both know. But we mustn’t acknowledge it.
You know. ~ Her.
Her right there.
Right there where?
Damn your denial.Right there! Stop pretending.
Just say it.
There’s an elephant in the room.
An elephant? What kind?
A lovely Hindu blue, but is that relevant?
No. What’s she doing?
Sleeping. Peacefully. The elephant in the room doesn’t do anything but just be.
I bet she is dreaming.
Dreaming of green. Her Asian home, and superior matriarchal society.
Mangoes, and mud holes, and trumpeting only the truth.
Free of incompetent creatures who can’t communicate with each other
and so insist that large land mammals appear and excuse them