Sisters mine, beloveds
those bones are not my child.
I am a woman at point zero;
unburnable.
The wind done gone
into a dark alliance
forged from the devil’s pulpit.

Daughters of the Sun, Women of the Moon
a mercy, please.
Let’s make dust tracks
and leave the dilemma of this ghost
to those who live in a city so grand..
Those bones are not my child.

Word of mouth spread
among the not-so-little women
with no technical difficulties.
The blues people, midwives
to a people’s history,
who believed horses
make a landscape look more beautiful,
shed petals of blood
as they walked on fire
to grieve
in a land without thunder.

 

 

Book titles used in this piece:

Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson

Beloved and A Mercy by Toni Morrison

Those Bones are not my Child by Toni Cade Bambara

Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi

Unburnable by Marie-Elena John

The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall

Dark Alliance by Gary Webb

From the Devil’s Pulpit by John Agard

Daughters of the Sun, Women of the Moon, ed. Ann Wallace

Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston

Dilemma of a Ghost by Ama Ata Aidoo  

A City So Grand by Stephen Puleo

Word of Mouth: Poems Featured on NPR’s All Things Considered

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Technical Difficulties by June Jordan

Blues People by Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones)

Midwives by Chris Bohjalian

A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful by Alice Walker

Petals of Blood by Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Walking on Fire: Haitian Women’s Stories of Survival and Resistance, ed. Beverly Bell

Land without Thunder by Grace Ogot

Reading Matters

April 30, 2011

The public library has become my new bookstore. Yesterday, I went book shopping there and got the following books:

Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid by Jimmy Carter

If you know me, then you know I am in no way, shape or form, a supporter of mainstream politics, let along presidents of the united states, former or current. However watching “history” the day Obama was installed as the “new face” of america, I was struck by the difference in physicality between George, Sr and the “peanut farmer” from Georgia. George, Sr looked like he could barely walk (and old Barbara didn’t seem to want to help him at all – if how far ahead she was walking is any indication). However, the peanut farmer defined sprightly. The image stuck with me and lead me to watch a documentary about said peanut farmer. In that documentary, I learned about this book…and the reaction to it. So even the back cover blurb includes quotes from the bible (something that interests me even less than mainstream politics), I decided to get it and yes, read it.

A Change of Skin by Carlos Fuentes

On the header over at Whirlwind Publishing, I have a quote from Fuentes: writing is a struggle against silence. When I saw this book, my mind flashed to that quote and also the realization that I had never actually read anything by Fuentes. So the book got added to the small pile. Because I have no experience with him or his writing (aside from the quote), I have no expectations. If A Change of Skins resonates with me enough, I will review it in the future.

The Hindi-Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan

The cover of this book seems like it was designed to capture the eye of readers who get titillated by the “exoticness” of Indian cultural attire. But what decided me on it was the back blurb which said the following:

In the celebrated tradition of The Joy Luck Club and Like Water for Chocolate comes a lyrical and deeply moving debut that explores the intricate bond between mothers and daughters – and the universal quest to live a life of love, beauty and truth.

This book and the one I’m going to discuss next will be read as part of the 2011 South Asian reading challenge.

Brick Lane by Monica Ali

Honestly, I bought this book because I’ve seen the movie and want to read the original, as is my wont.

Both books will be reviewed.

Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful – Alice Walker

When I first started reading Black lit as a teenager, this was one of the books I got. Back then my favorite poem in it was First They Said. I think it might actually be the original hardcover book because the picture on the back cover shows a young Alice Walker wearing what looks like braid extensions.