Treasure Island

Romella Kitchens

(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

How i Used 2 Write When i Wuz Young

How i Used 2 Write When i Wuz Young
Days wax. Ax the poli-tical in place of the lyrical death row overthrow
five times the wu-tang clang into the metaphysical. Higher ground? Lost
Poets who live in torn out caves of urban life rife with individual & collectives
strife(s) boxed into a segregated SUB-universe... PUSH GROove yet there is a
connected-ness ... R
U not detecting this? B-tween this hemisphere & dat? ...

Deuce Ur ryhmes and flow into it.
PAce the beat Back in 2 a Slower
How I Used To Write When I Was Young
Hair wiretrigger what doo U figure? What did i have 2 lose? The mainstream worldnot
yet my native tongue 'cuz of its perpetual separation Frum me. Grades school slam
down, 'Here's yr paper b ack. Thinkmoreacceptibly, not so deceptively, precocious but skilled A-. Grades used 2 define us. Robbins Island of the mind. Is this how my life story so far read to U, then U read it, REd it w/ liar's eyes...See U
may have 'corrected' me but U did not finish me. I will DEFINE ME. Even when U think U do
my certain blues overcome U. Tribute to the tribe dragged here. Spear chucker me 1 time
& I will expotentially scream this at U. U do not own me - only yr atrocities.
Groove deep into the
Disenfranchised back beat, couple of old heads laying down poverty tracks on the refuse lids of the
streets. Even when U think U doo De-fine me, if U re-create me in your social light, there is a connected-ness & U wuz searching for the God Particle, the authentic non-article of already discernment,2.
Old men has beens sit on the tip of their deaths waiting to know the self U keep hiding in yr
acceptance shadows no matter the shade of the skin suit they R in.
No portraits of them on yr WALLS.They have to claim their own His-story. They have to 'see His glory', works of His hands understand, standing until the dust.

Submitted: Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, November 06, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Part of my poetic tradition is urban African American. We used to have slam books and poems went around the school in a sort of underground publication. I was told early in my life there was no enrichment program for African American students at my school and that hurt very much that the schism was created by Black or White and hatred. But, I continued to write and listen to the other students spin rhymes. When I turned twenty or so, I joined a poetry workshop held at the University Of Pittsburgh. We met on Saturdays in the African American Studies Departmen which has now changed its name. The leader of the workshops was Robb Penny. He was an excellent craftsman of the African American word. He was a tiny man who always wore something Afro-centric and told you he loved you. He taught us as poets to strive for our own voices as the outside
society was not accepting of us. But, he loved people so every one could trade poems no matter their race or class. I grew there and one of the stages was language experimentation. One of the members of that group was August Wilson, the deceased but very, very well known playwright. I can still remember having to dig way down in the bottom of my purse to get the money for bus fare and being on a slightly 'see food' diet. But, the poems of the saged poets fed me. Robb has been dead for many years now but, his legacy of spiritual and creative love lives on. Always remember what crafted you instead of rejected you. Never swim against your own waters.

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