November 14, 2012 § Leave a comment
In one of the final winding weeks of undergrad I went to yet another poetry reading on campus. I loved the poetry readings. I loved the college cliché of it, of sitting in a circle on the grassy patch at a city school and reading and listening and not listening. George Washington University has two literary magazines, each culminating in a new issue and a sprinkling of readings throughout the year–Halloween, Valentine’s Day, midterms, finals. I was on the staff of one magazine–The GW Review–and published in the other–Wooden Teeth (don’t mind the dated Web site).
Usually the editors read from the new issues of the semester. I was too embarrassed to read my own fiction aloud to people who weren’t required to read it, so the editor of Wooden Teeth read the beginning of my published work that semester, a story called “Just Go Home. Do It Again.” Maybe if you write real nice you can snag a chopped up version of it from two years ago. I had been wanting to write something like it ever since I first walked down the 42nd Street Subway station and looked up in January 2008. It’s a story that written but I still need to finish it. There is much more to write.
I chose a piece of Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf” for the reading. I was finishing up my American Poetry class at the time, as well as my Feminist Theory class, and, well, I just couldn’t help myself.
If I remember correctly, I read the excerpt beginning, “Somebody almost walked off wid alla my stuff…” It goes on later: “did you know somebody almost got away wit me/ me in a plastic bag under their arm/ me danglin on a string of personal carelessness/ i’m spattered wit mud & city rain…”
It’s been a while since the last time I looked at the text, but last Friday I attended an art exhibit opening that brought many of the play’s themes back to me.
Below is a piece on the Uptowner produced by my classmate for which I took photos for. The exhibit was at a gallery called FLUX Harlem.