“Not Yet 100 Days” by Susan Jackson

Not Yet 100 Days

Part One:

Mourning’s not the same this time.
Splintered.
Caffeined
Apoplectic
Asking
Splintered
How…
…this?
….happened?
Splintered.
Time’s not the same, this mourning.

Part Two:

Search forward the next petition, the next march, the next fight—
Hope.
You,
There
reaching
Hope!
Lined-
Soldiers
Armed.
Hope!!;
Petition the search; next, next, next the fight–the March forward!

Susan Jackson
4/16/2017

“Jazz Piano Skinnys” by Le Hinton

Jazz Piano Skinnys

Thelonious Monk

She danced the chord Monk played for
free.
Sweet
dissonance.
Fearless,
free-
flowing
music
breathes
free.
She played the chord Monk danced for.

Bill Evans

“We will meet again,”
Bill
plays.
She
prays.
Bill
dreams.
I
believe,
Bill,
we will meet again.

Art Tatum

We invited genius for tea
this
Sunday
morning.
Across
this
piano,
hands
fly.
This
genius we invited for tea.

Le Hinton
4/5/2017

“The Myth of Skinny Donald Trump” by Sharon Mishler Fox

The Myth of Skinny Donald Trump

Donald Trump spreads lies like butter.
Lies
drape
across
landscape.
Lies
slither
into
crevices.
Lies,

lies Donald Trump spreads like butter.

Trump dines on lies.
Lies
breakfast,
lunch,
dinner,
lies
every
tasteless
snack.
Lies,
Trump dines on lies.

This is the skinny on Donald Trump.
Lies
make
Trump
skinny.
Lies,
meaningless
skin/
bones.
Lies.
The skinny on this is Donald Trump.

Sharon Mishler Fox
3/29/2017

“Seeds” by Janel Spencer-Levy

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Seeds
One thing I can tell you is you got to be free.  – “Come Together,” The Beatles – Based on signs from the Women’s March, Jan 21, 2017, San Diego

When they tried to bury us, they didn’t realize we were seeds.
This
is
what
democracy
this
looks
like
democracy
this:
They didn’t realize we were seeds, when they tried to bury us.

*

In numbers too big to ignore,
hear
me
roar:
I,
hear
me,
am
woman,
here:
In numbers too big to ignore.

*

Si, se puede!
We
stand
for
equality.
We
the
people,
power,
we.
Yes, we can!

*

People still ask
what
was
the
victim
what
was
she
wearing
what…
people still ask.

*

Black lives
matter
seed
ash
magic
matter
bees
sand
polin
matter
Black lives

*

Revolution is love not
Trump’s
hate.
Love
is;
trumps
hate.
Our
love.
Trump’s
revolution is not love.

Janel Spencer-Levy
2/18/2017

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janel-pic-2

Four poems for February — Barbara Turney Wieland

protest-in-front-of-white-house

2017

starts as a shit storm
warning
muted
orange
warning
voted
fear-monger
rage
warning
as a shit storm starts

Our Fathers,

even children can see
past
new
emperor’s
clothes
past
repeated
sins
pointed
past
even children can see

How the mighty fall

watch the dismemberment of democracy
stand
by
curious
apathy
stand
up
citizens
don’t
watch the dismemberment of democracy

Lie down

a lie repeated becomes
truth
through
elastic
lips
truth
like
concrete
corrupted
truth
becomes a lie repeated

Barbara Turney Wieland
2/9/2017

unnamed (1)

 

“Hijab Solidarity Day, Allentown, Pa., January 20, 2017” by Susan Weaver

4
2
img_20170120_145704919_hdr-smaller

Hijab Solidarity Day, Allentown, Pa., January 20, 2017

1.
Old and young, four abreast, with a banner
STAND 
TOGETHER.
Orange
letters
stand
against
hate.
We
stand
four abreast with a banner, young and old.

2.
We are marching in the rain side by side, many
heads —
Muslim,
non-Muslim —
covered.
Heads
scarfed.
Hooded,
yarmulked
heads.
We are many, walking side by side in the rain.

3.
At the rally, all eyes, a Muslim woman on her
American
flag
scarf:
I’m
American —
hijab
doesn’t
negate
American.
A Muslim woman, all eyes on her at the rally.

Susan Weaver
2/5/2017

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“Subject: Washington, D.C. Pre-March musings” by Susan Jackson

headshot

Subject: Washington, D.C. Pre-March musings

                  Still, bereft; fierce, but–
                  Awakened.

Storied
Hovering

                  Shout!
                  Awakened.
                  Tears.
                  March!

Hands.
Awakened,

                   Bereft, still; but fierce.

Susan Jackson
1/22/2017

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The Skinny Poetry Journal – Call for Submissions: Inauguration Protest Poems

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The Skinny Poetry Journal (TSPJ) seeks new poetry that documents the historic upcoming protests related to the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States. We are interested in submissions that report the experiences of those attending major protest marches all over the country, as well as those that will actually take place in Washington, DC: namely, the Answer Coalition March on Inauguration Day (1/20/2017) and The Women’s March on Washington, which is scheduled the following day.

The Skinny Poetry Journal
https://theskinnypoetryjournal.wordpress.com/

TSPJ is a literary journal that is dedicated to The Skinny poetry form (and edited by a rotating team of poets). A Skinny is a short poem form, created by Truth Thomas, that consists of eleven lines. The first and eleventh lines can be any length (although shorter lines are favored). The eleventh and last line must be repeated using the same words from the first and opening line (however, those words can be rearranged). The second, sixth, and tenth lines must be identical.

The point of the Skinny, or Skinnys, is to convey a vivid image with as few words as possible. Skinny poems can be about any subject. They can also be linked, like Haiku, Senryu or Tanka. To submit your work for publishing consideration, email it to: theskinnypoetryjournal@gmail.com with your poem, or poems, copied into the body of your email.

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Answer Coalition March Against Trump on Inauguration Day

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navy-memorial-map

This just in from the Answer Coalition: Navy Memorial will now be the site of largest protest on the Inaugural Parade Route
 
“The Jan. 20 Mass Protest along the Presidential Inaugural Route will be a powerful rejection of the Trump Agenda on Day One of his administration. Permits have been secured by the ANSWER Coalition for the large Navy Memorial site on Pennsylvania Ave. NW from 7th St. to 9th St. A 28-foot stage and a huge sound system will be set up there so that Trump, his big donors, the international media and indeed the whole world will see our presence.”
For details regarding the Answer Coalition march on January 20th, 2017, go to:
 

Progressive people from all over the country will be descending on Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2017, to stage a massive demonstration along Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day.

http://www.answercoalition.org/protest_on_inauguration_day

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“Haiti” by Matthew Harris

Haiti

January twelfth two thousand and ten
    nameless
       crushed
           island
              salvation
                  nameless
                     invaders
                        proselytizers
                           slaughter
                              nameless
                                 two ten and twelfth thousand  January.

Matthew Harris
12/3/2016

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(Thony Belizaire/AFP/Getty Images)

 

TSPJ Call for Submissions: Stand Against Racism

The Skinny Poetry Journal (TSPJ) seeks new poetry. Poems submitted can embrace any theme, however, we are particularly interested in submissions that paint a picture of racism in America–the unresolved legacy of slavery–in the interest of healing our nation of that cancerous social affliction.

TSPJ is a literary journal that is dedicated to The Skinny poetry form (and edited by a rotating team of poets). A Skinny is a short poem form, created by Truth Thomas, that consists of eleven lines. The first and eleventh lines can be any length (although shorter lines are favored). The eleventh and last line must be repeated using the same words from the first and opening line (however, those words can be rearranged). The second, sixth, and tenth lines must be identical.

The point of the Skinny, or Skinnys, is to convey a vivid image with as few words as possible. Skinny poems can be about any subject. They can also be linked, like Haiku, Senryu or Tanka. To submit your work for publishing consideration, email it to: theskinnypoetryjournal@gmail.com with your poem, or poems, copied into the body of your email.

NOTE: TSPJ is now opening up our journal to advertising. To learn more about our rates, feel free to email us at tspjads@gmail.com

 

“chromatics” by Curtis L. Crisler

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chromatics

i.
there is no more specific life
skin

god
purpose

beaten
skin

strange
bodies

own

skin
there is no more life specific

ii.
us apart from our bodies
action

house
gun

fear

action
skeletons
unspokens

bloodlines

action
our bodies apart from us

iii.
a pile of unspokens not reached
burnt

trees
crowing

racial

burnt
moths
flaring

melodies

burnt
piles of unspokens not reached

Curtis L. Crisler
11/13/2016

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“mass incarceration (an extended skinny)” by Brian Gilmore

brian-gilmore_author-image

mass incarceration (an extended skinny)

1
our world has always been
jail.
work.
home.
travels.
jail.
deny
access.
exclude.
jail
has always been our world.

2.
these separate lives.
us
and
them.
mostly
us.
over
here.
hating
us.
separate these lives.

3.
this design of wickedness.
see
it
everyone.
look.
see.
there.
here.
multitudes
see
this design of wickedness.

4.
must we continue to suffer?
this?
we
cannot
believe
this.
who
would
allow
this
to continue. we must suffer?

5.
even in the schools we are
prisoners.
our
essence
unmentioned.
prisoners.
wondering
of
us.
prisoners
we are, even in the schools.

6.
got jail bars on all the houses.
fear
rules
the
streets.
fear
erodes
our
spaces.
fear
got jail bars on all the houses.

7.
you cannot cross
redlines.
tracks.
walls.
borders.
redlines.
suffocating
are
these
redlines
you cannot cross.

8.
we became at last.
free.
at
least
legally.
free
like
dogs
dashing.
free
we became at last

9.
so new prisons were built.
necessary
evils
they
say.
necessary
like
green
hair.
necessary
so new prisons were built.

10.
finally released from them jails.
boys
are
now
men.
boys
of
angry
time.
boys
finally released from them jails.

             11. (for betts)
the new jim crow.
bastards
of
the
reagan,
bastards
of
the
clinton,
bastards
of the new jim crow.

12.
man must mean something to
rise.
build.
illuminate.
dazzle.
rise
magically
from
destruction.
rise
man. mean something to someone.

13.
freedom is a deeper memory.
stories
of
maroons.
revolts.
stories
unspoken
like
family
stories.
deeper freedom is a memory.

14.
makes me want to go like norman bates:
psychotic.
adore
peace.
psychotic
when
peace
eludes.
psychotic
like normal bates, make me want to go.

15.
we can all get along
rodney
no
one
heard
rodney.
no
one
respects
rodney
can we all get along?

16.
overcoming is the persistent of continua.
aluta.
forward
like
always.
aluta
keep
on
pushing.
aluta
continua is the persistent of overcoming.

Brian Gilmore
11/12/2016

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The Skinny Poetry Journal Call for Submissions: Stand Against Racism

160831065059-election-2016-racism-large-169-1

The Skinny Poetry Journal (TSPJ) seeks new poetry. Poems submitted can embrace any theme, however, we are particularly interested in submissions that paint a picture of racism in America–the unresolved legacy of slavery–in the interest of healing our nation of that cancerous social affliction.

TSPJ is a literary journal that is dedicated to The Skinny poetry form (and edited by a rotating team of poets). A Skinny is a short poem form, created by Truth Thomas, that consists of eleven lines. The first and eleventh lines can be any length (although shorter lines are favored). The eleventh and last line must be repeated using the same words from the first and opening line (however, those words can be rearranged). The second, sixth, and tenth lines must be identical.

The point of the Skinny, or Skinnys, is to convey a vivid image with as few words as possible. Skinny poems can be about any subject. They can also be linked, like Haiku, Senryu or Tanka. To submit your work for publishing consideration, email it to: theskinnypoetryjournal@gmail.com with your poem, or poems, copied into the body of your email.

NOTE: TSPJ is now opening up our journal to advertising. To learn more about our rates, feel free to email us at tspjads@gmail.com

“Justice Cannot Be Trumped” – Truth Thomas

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(photo by Melanie Henderson (c) 2016

Justice Cannot Be Trumped

On the evening of November 8, I was in church, along with a fairly large assembly of black folks. It was good for me—for us—to be there as we were praying for the nation and for God’s will to be done in the 2016 Presidential Election. In the course of that service, I was reminded of one crucial point in the context of the historical African American experience: we are survivors. The world’s most abhorrent slavery trade took place in the United States, and we survived it. All of the most heinous, post 13th Amendment, manifestations of that same slavery/social control (from paddy roller horror to the American apartheid of Jim Crow) are also evils that we survived. That perspective gave me a good indication of what a possible Donald Trump’s win would mean to millions of people of color. It would mean, quite vibrantly, we would survive. Of course, we later learned that the election outcome was not what any of the black people who gathered at the prayer meeting wanted (or for that matter, what millions of progressive Americans would have wished). Nevertheless, my confidence in the enduring resilience of black and brown people—and all citizens of good will in my country—remains unflinching.

With the election of Donald Trump as the president of the United States, America has installed a Hitler-like figure as the leader of the free world. That has to be said. Indeed, the man who will soon occupy the White House, and have his finger on America’s nuclear trigger, has received the support of countless Neo-Nazi extremist organizations in the United States (Mahler 2016). To date, he has not renounced any of them.  Also, while a great many newspapers in the states did not endorse Trump, the Crusader, one of the Ku Klux Klan’s most prominent publications, did—and did so boldly (Holly 2016). This news is not a secret. Trump’s racism and antisemitism have been well documented (Heilman 2016). However, for those who support him, none of those issues matter. What that says about America is that significant numbers of its citizenry are willing to risk global catastrophe in order to promote white supremacy.

Having said that, I hasten to add that millions of people of all colors did not vote for him. The strides forward that were made in the Civil Rights Movement were not erased from the consciousness of time because one hate monger–seemingly–won one political contest. In spite of Donald Trump’s White House triumph, America’s progressive contingent–and particularly black and brown people–have already redoubled its efforts to fight injustice. Certainly, efforts to ratchet up the battle against racial genocide will have to be more robust as a result of Trump’s “Make America [White Dominated] Again” crusade. Absolutely, work against Trumpian foreign policy efforts that might increase the prospect of war in the world must be much more purposeful and ardent. However, the battle in America for all people to be afforded equal rights and human dignity continues.

Trials Now and Trials Ahead

Race-based brutality and murder in the United States are common occurrences. Even in Donald Trump’s campaign, citizens of color were routinely assaulted for peacefully protesting.  In fact, Trump made it a point to fuel that violence from the safety of his podium perch. Given the vitriol of his hateful rhetoric, it is fair to say that violence aimed at all non-white and non-Christian “others” will only increase after he assumes office.  What is surprising to some, especially after 8 years of a black president, is how intensely mainstream racism appears to have rekindled itself—and is raging like a burning church in Mississippi.  I am not surprised. I grew up here. Shortly before he was assassinated, Dr. King made it clear that “there are difficult days ahead” (King, “I’ve Been,” 222─223). He also added, that although he might not get to the Promised Land with us, that we, nevertheless, would “get to the Promised Land” (King, “I’ve Been,” 222─223).  Racism—and all of the hateful “isms” that Donald Trump embodies never went on holiday.  When I think about present day America, I must consider it within the context of King’s freedom fighting continuum. As a result of the election results on November 8th, 2016, that continuum of social justice activism has been re-invigorated. Though systemic racial inequality in the United States never took a vacation on a “post-black” cruise ship, there are multitudes of Americans working daily to send it packing.

The poisonous legacy of slavery, America’s original sin, continues to manifest itself via police murders of people of color, Native Americans raped of their land, the mass incarceration of nonwhite citizens, and more. I will not sugarcoat that fact. Arguably, the consequence of Trump’s political ascendance may mean the normalization of state-sanctioned racial abuse on an unprecedented level.

Clearly, there is nothing about Donald Trump in the White House that bodes well for either America or for the world—certainly nothing that has to do with the business of freedom. Despots always help an undertaker’s business. This should be of concern for anyone who has children. To be sure, with a Donald Trump presidency, fear of war waged somewhere around the globe–in the alleged name of “freedom”—is real. Without question, there is great concern about conflict escalating in the streets of America in response to ongoing protests against police domestic terrorism, poverty and despair. However, none of that fear has stopped the NAACP or the Black Lives Matter movement, and many other similar activist groups from ramping up their efforts to oppose racial oppression.

That is the great power in the African American freedom fighting story, and most decidedly, our strength. When you have been beaten, tortured, murdered and disenfranchised for centuries, at a certain point you realize there is nothing anyone can do to intimidate you. That is the state of black and brown America—a survivor’s state. We are not afraid to fight, march, and die—if necessary—in order to be free. As a result of Donald Trump’s recent rise to power, many Americans are wide awake and active—reinvigorated, in the battle against political leaders legislating hatred in high places. That is as it should be—as we should be, at our best.  Injustice has a way of waking justice up whenever it allows itself to fall asleep in pillowed beds of apathy. Indeed, Civil Rights activist Ella Baker once said that “we who believe in freedom cannot rest” (Dreier 2014). I believe that. I also believe that the current rebirth of social justice activism will continue in the United States. To my way of thinking, it has to carry on, because no freedom-fighting struggle is a single round (or single election) fight.

Truth Thomas
11/10/2016

References

Dreier, Peter.  “Ella Baker, Ferguson, and ‘Black Mothers’ Sons.’” The Huffington Post 22 Dec.

          2014: Web. 9 Nov. 2016.

Heilman, Uriel. 2016. “Donald Trump’s anti-Semitism controversies: A timeline.” Arutz Sheva

          / Israel National News 6 Feb. 2016: Web. 9 Nov. 2016.

Holly, Peter. 2016. “KKK’s official newspaper supports Donald Trump for president.”

          The Washington Post 2 Nov. 2016: Web. 9 Nov. 2016.

King, Martin Luther. “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” A Call to Conscience, eds. Carson

          and Shepard, 2001.

Mahler, Jonathan. 2016. “Donald Trump’s Message Resonates With White Supremacists.”

          The New York Times 29 Feb. 2016: Web. 9 Nov. 2016.