Raven Chronicles' Poets Examine Race: Under Our Skin



everyone for joining us for our weekly conversation on social issues my name is Kimberly and I'm one of the reference resistance here at the Seattle Central Library so why are we doing this in the library here at library we believe in the open exchange of ideas and information in just the same way that you're not necessarily going to agree with everything you find out of our shells in our databases in the newspapers your we want you to have the opportunity to breathe and learn about different perspectives we take that same viewpoint with this series so as we start I'm going to ask that you all keep in mind that we want everyone to be respectful of the opinions that you hear whether or not you agree with them and you have a couple of books that you want to find out more at the end of this session you can check out it from here down and then these are provided to look at purchase browse on buyer poets today so next week during soar up the international educational program staff member Christina Taylor will be joining us in facilitating this around the prison industrial complex so I hope to see you all back next week and if you are interested in leading one of these discussions we have faculty staff students alumni combat and leave these come come talk to me we can set something up for next quarter we're booked the rest of this quarter so I hope to see your faces so without further ado I will introduce NF will be introducing our proposed hi everyone and this is a literary magazine that's been around now for 23 years which is pretty amazing magazine and some of the things that make it unique is expected it includes also amount of little writing different genres so has spoken and also off work and we had the copy that we're going to be reading from sale here and also drought and the theme as you probably know the difference race under our skin and we have these wonderful points are all in this issue so and I just wanna make a request before you begin just let me go to the movies or the theater please make sure the cell phones thanks so first up is Laura da fool is incorrect and public sportage czars an enrolled member of the Eastern Shore new tribe of oklahoma and showing history and world will perform her poetic boys she has published poems in prairie schooner canning loose the iowa review and elsewhere 2013 she was nominated for push well thank you all for being here today my name is Laura day and i'll be reviewing two palms today my first poem is called earth mover and it's in this edition of raven Chronicles and i wrote this poem both about birth of my son and about the mountain culture society from which part michael from Shawnee culture disconnected so my poem is called birthday were ferocious and slide my mind's talent let's liquid women rivers arteries in amniotic fluid delicate labs of optical nerves trucker prospect of the cesarean bail my skin twisted and stainless steel pliers proves the efficacy of this by the block that doles no pain that leaves a cavity for the sonic panic of my child heat from my happening I close my eyes and roll hills churn rivers press shovel to earth and race for the abrasion that draws the past listening in to the present in the Ohio Valley mound builders left massive earthworks enamored with the idea of excavation settlers filter through the soil sordid moments feather headdresses flakes of my poems when asked to define an effigy depicted in a perplexing now the Shawnee described a perilous being brought like a massive Panther swimming through rivers with the power to destroy alligator mount no inet past and future and Panthers can my son's ferocious prone I plant down the tributaries Josh lay claim to our place the next moment like to read for you all today is called American town and to give a little bit of context the eastern shawnee tribe now is located around a reservation in northeastern Oklahoma but that's not our traditional homeland doll traditionally the Easter shawnee tribe was located in the Ohio area so this one talks a little bit about the cultural journey from Oklahoma to hide American towns Seneca Missouri soft wash of casino jangle seeps through the Pontiacs cracked window the math flutters on the dashboard one corner ritzel sparse Ozark wash of Tommy Greene a herd of buffalo blowing inside pasture here to savoia JH conjured no not that Claude trajectory of attacks but a fierce conception that quickens and scrapes inside just the same the director Ohio will take 11 hours 48 minutes cost 195 dollars and gallons chillicothe and the subtle semantics of shawnee a Titan fist commutation clan name and principal city all human systems working limpid sashay of corn tassel historical markers back in the leader to plunge an arm into the lone tweeze with fingers to feel how fattening no rocks to blend the path to bed Wow share what arable fields of shawnee corn hung under the crust beside the carpet of burned council houses August readings of bad acts cream drought thrust large boulders jutting up waist-deep lives in a center for grinding corn what is own grits in the corners of the mouth the plaque on the museum's door in xenia stoles a Revolutionary War hero the ground on which this council house stands unstained blood and as pure is my heart which wishes for nothing so much as peace summer school kids middle around the museum the teacher introduces the panel of tribal council members as remnants of the once-great shawnee tribe listless murmur offenses across paper in the front room a volunteer curator means over a diagram anxious to capture the real story his dibbles red paint onto the sandy ground simulating the gore points with the paintbrush Internet's room where 15 letters from 1783 broker captive trades the Delaware shamans lon shades of pink from Blanche olive to come from plotted in a rough for the finest way long death hands each one may file by the promise of whiskey leaving Xena that evening on an old shoddy trade out to be traced in concrete one with this town what we could add up Blue Jackets town Makka chat while Katara z the influence of the pollen upon the form I want my develop where is this brown stain Holly luis rosado and Tom go write a race in Southern California she is a winner of the 2013 native riders chaplin award from sequoia national research center and is a founding editor of the journal asked us a space for women of the world thanks for having me excited to be here because I actually teach English at north so it's the opportunity to come to another campus I'm going to be reading the first 48 the toughest Talackova both these poems are from a collection i'm working on called brother bullet the first 48 I marathon am knees the first 48 but this is no race then there is no finish line no victory here it's rough course lots of stumble and blood cake knees and put that break fresh to liquid I take comfort in television even as my screen fills with brown bodies so like brothers done made dead after bullet night I promise to never turn away from the red cake of the left behind the long scope of loss but I watch and moved to meet sorrows said he beat the pulse of affect their battle cries echo here in the chest in the capital apart or I rooted brother so he grows from muscle to memory to story when a beam enters I'm fast to change channels wanting to save him from death the way I couldn't save him from some pain sometimes we have to mouth knuckle the red a paid to white so not to conferral to a screen i watch for clues with a certainty of the unsolved forever the weight of X heavier than anything we carry XO fear except air wraps itself into an equation we look for city to solve each base and the mutation of the unknown the equation of grief the equation of self always adds a degree a syllable too small to contain what it must our first 48 has passed and still we have X so I speak to the television to Miami and Baltimore's detectives more than anyone working brother's case I see myself in the blurred out shaky face of this and I try to imagine for it being questioned some resolution how r ms over n fish some boys one brothers first son asked me where it happened where his father could not outrun jack I tell him the truth but feel heavy with the weight of goodness I want gunshot ricochets throat he wants to know if it happened in the back yard or his father as a boy once race behind orange and sweet lemon trees scrambling over warped fences to escape BB gun games shoulders shocked by other boys brother was a big target tiny bullets pierced summer skin but they smiled as the gunplay were those they called brother these easy payments and clean they are not the ones that weren't some boys boys that always carry the scars even after whose are no longer circled red mother tells her son not to wear his hood over his head don't walk to the corner store alone be back before the street lights turn on she says just when she told brother as a boy are these the warnings brother would have given his son knowing that sometimes it is not enough because some boys some brown boys are never just forced to some Idaho concentration camp during World War and he and his family before among the approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese help without due process for approximately three years or more much sooner has a PhD in education through University of Washington and was a secondary teacher University Counseling state level administrator school principal assistant superintendent educational consultant and visiting professor at Seattle University today he's here as a boy thank you very much thank you for being here I just want to add that up to 120,000 taken to the camps based on race race lasat crime being Japanese was their crime two-thirds were American citizens fifty percent were children and we represented a threat to the country again my name is Larry Matsuda is born in block 26 barracks to my number is 11 464 d everyone had it done my father was a my mother was be my brother will see me and I was the first one I'm going to read is entitled walking route to freedom and it is in Ravens Chronicle Idaho does not accept our dead twin falls mortuaries turn away Minidoka japanese dr. Abbott calls aunt Amy's time medics and white gently slider from the bunker for a journey of salt lake city first excursion of the person team cousin he cousin he's a full snatches shadows passing in her dreams don't worry Amy whispers help pets Leah I'm fine tetsuo her son a US soldier volunteers from minidoka to defend freedom in Europe he takes aim and blasts the padlock gates of deck i'll swing open Nazis have no cold crematorium silent odors a death permeate the air something like a mixture of chocolate pudding urine feces and rotting meat naked bodies stacked like tangled tree limbs hundred fluids trickle down drains in minidoka Cole rages in pot listos when did we hear of Creek crematory it seems we knew it seems we always do when our boys came home we knew for sure thank you the next one is entitled the noble thing and the vocabulary word here is epic and I which of the Japanese word for it can't be helped the normal thing dad never talked about minidoka that was a noble thing before World War two it was a Garfield High School for him ice skating on Greenland answers and labeled in his Lodge leaders laters ownership without groomsmen on seneca street he and my mother won't married in 1941 ten months later to be removed forced into the minidoka concentration camp mom was five months pregnant in August with my older brother Alan with blackout curtains drawn the train left puyallup and climbed the Cascade Mountains until the land flattened and the inescapable Sun transformed the train cars into a moving sauna people gasp small panic breaths from the superheated air she got the good night the train stopped by the side of an unmarked brewed in the Idaho desert released its passengers miles from any stations rumors spread they would be shot for march together their bodies stacked then carried to some awaiting hitch nowhere to run they walk in their best shoes in the gritty sand was on the face of the moon the heat caused some to faint as they carry all that they could three years later dad returned to Seattle after the war developed the bleeding ulcer lost his janitor job at her little hotel depression took mom away like invisible guards she was a stranger a stick like figure with arms and legs poking out of a white smock facing the sidewalk next the Western State Hospital turn around dad never talked about it none of it I never heard him say the word Minidoka come on in toward the unbearable with dignity she's got the gun I my best friend's mother jones pills from soon after school Randy my neighbor opened the garage door and found his father in a black suit is best hanging by the neck Scott again I the same path other see I'm Japanese children's numbers unknown she got the guy we however never talked about that was a noble thing to do thank you next we have no Ryan who what happened to be a muscle in yugoslavia before the bombs came down in south africa at the end of apartheid and in india before and after is current wave of our people prosperity his work is an attorney and lobbyists in America's prisons and immigration detention centers brings him in contact with many cabinets of our society and including victims of the war on terror the drug war and war so what Anna did mention is that I am the legislative director of the ACLU of Washington currently we work on issues of racial justice and immigrant rights every single day and you can too because we have a ton of volunteer opportunities so you all are interested you should check out our website which is ACLU dash law I'm going to share two bones with you today the first one is sort of an homage to my other hometown Delhi my city dee dee Elle Elle hi hi he he my city is Delhi definitely duly noted delhi delhi adele's Delia fleas but here neither needs nor Dells more like these & L's dee dee dee aridity dry like the bones of empire derived from blood the sapphire d mean a change d meaning black demeaning stripped of everything but d that exists only in the absence of something a delicate crack a Queen's hand delivered like a desert March debased like the blood on flagstones oozing from the man flung over the Emperor's parapets deconstructing billie flynn's me off my Rome and the el el la la like the music of peacocks and lushness of thunder and gloom over greens coming through desiccated riverbed dee dee da dee da dee dee to team with millions of pulses and notes to scream with voices and crickets and goats hell L luminous like drool l the only one like clapping along slake of the gel mouse marble of the my clapping long slake pajamas winding path or the watery flight of a million crows on Gemma mustards marble domes falling into my soul la illaha illallah or darya ganj the river city leaking lords and lackeys and broken-down lovers praising high exalted he high and mighty he he whose word is a lady whose diamond daggers cleanse me he who frees he who foresees these Heights I live my life retrieving my only edict delhi beloved Bodhi tree and I your detainee home and heaven he he incandescent like the Ember always within me d marketing the line beyond which my fortune lies delhi delhi escaping your ties dee dee he he your lightning my decree d d ly ly Delhi where my hi my ex ex is the name we cannot speak X or Malcolm X sensors history x the axis of which are amoral fictions turn x is a road a prohibition a transgression in Flint Falls two men or a man and a boy or a boy and a scared man turn boy or two terrified animals across and x4 toxic pheromones through blood then blood over bad luck X's where the sidewalk cracks converge the cracks in history a series of graceful Exodus radiating outward from the singles in matters that 9-millimeter sacraments a trick of Jim metrics momentarily infusing the receiver with an otherworldly radiance then a body so hard they called it John Doe open an X file now there's a void exhale cancelled unable to overcome chromosomal barriers in a place go to send a file and Xenophon an unmapped place called America while black now ex-excuse demons extorts judge and jury sites exigencies of these times X sanitizes are slurs in this game the xbox black box X rates are pornographic desire to x-ray anyone either with us or against us but for a black boy the whole country might as well be x rated X taped over mouths forbidden to speak what we all know to be true but even so we can't quite figure out what we want to say to this dead boy to find the X of a kiss for this broken body or of the ex out his eyes now in this broken country lambs blood x is privileged the exalted exclude death by accident of birth now xmas foretells the Golgotha finally come through our gated communities the dying hope that we'd be absolved if we crucify just one guilty man not to sacrifice at the altar of when America unwilling to own is multiplied external life spheres but rather to be messiah of our excuses messiah of our excavations messiah who excises guilt and shame for what we can't help feeling what we fail to burn at once what we heard into jail cells cross-hatched with bloody nail scratches what all those Hellfires writing blind drones reaching fear pheromones plunging to flashing x's on foreign maps could not expunge know Crosby to bear that wait so now we are strange confused Hispanic Jewish Messiah holder laughter crowbar and meet us past unspeaking process in the churchyard past unspeakable rows of red x's through all those Sully veins and finance 13 so as that is JT Stewart I believe some people in this room poet writer playwright editor teacher public artists who isn't faculty emeritus at cscc see here and co-founded the Clarion West SF writers workshop now in its 21st year she served as poetry editor for a millennium reflection Seattle Boyd some photographers which was published by University of Washington press and she's been a curator for the drag straw writers and residents i'm going to divide my presentation in three parts it goes this way going to begin with free quotations then I'm going to tell you a little story then I'm going to read some poems and the second of the problems is in grave chronicles before I start all this how many of you write poetry okay this time I want you to lie i want to write poetry oh i should see all the info and if you feel so moved by what right phone today we'll talk about that so the first quotation of three time will come and in less than 10 years when children and the public schools will be taught practically everything by moving pictures certainly they never be obliged to read history again and this is from DW Griffith one of our early filmmakers timaya films called recommendation for him birth of the nation plan had nothing to do with the Constitution so for those of you who are interested in the film check out gone with the wind find out how popular that Phil minutes in the spending how much money is made it's still being from online tech you know second twin thing consider the source okay I used to get into drag-out fights with my students no I believe in an argument and sometimes these arguments got kind of heated but then I really love to win but he never time and this one portation is something it just ended okay so think about it the source whenever I hear something that's what I did I consider the source and I've waited and swear the most valuable things that I learned when I was teaching here and I want you to know that I taught but I also learned from my students okay third one may know we've been good wings you've been bamboozled well it's respectfully as mayor film co bamboozled a happy Malcolm X and that poor patient means so much to me because I don't like to be cool or so that gives you an idea of kind of the spirit I said three rotations that was first next a little story so in another lifetime I just performance that membership buh-bye buh-bye and one day I did with reading at the inn tomandamanda here and I open from this gun heron is if you don't go online no I go everywhere and find his music because reason I did this at the story is that when I opened I got to be first and are standing here theater huge number of people and so I said these things like and then I heard myself saying I dedicate this reading the liberation of a new spirit I have no idea what I think but leave it and so I want you to know that first of all I'm going to be two poems in one poem is what i call it the lemma home I guess I me buddy ok so well look em up that's all I'm going to say and it's going to begin the demographic same here mirror mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all brothers grimm let me tell you something i am a woman of african descent that isn't just something you hear me it is some thing yes i am a woman of african descent in a public library restroom quite assistant standing behind me staring in the mirror at me are you missed she says the back of my head i say good the very wet as in what's wrong with your sister i can if she says one more time gives me the once-over and so she paid attention now I shake my hands dry I say that the woman in the mirror what what what man's did you not get from your mom and tell me that she thinks hard like I'm some kind of puzzle bitch she says you know as a mixed no no I say I am NOT next I nobody to make anything I hear my voice saying I am a woman of African descent just like you passing she says life would be easier she says easier for what I almost say the price of ticket I say that's what James Baldwin would say do I went to hug her maybe I want to give her my skin I move away leaving her to talk with that other woman wanna clap subroutine but it's more something else yeah God listen target is all they call it black madonna you're more than pain and pills and and gardenias pinned in place just some god bless the cottage the crowd cheers she moans out of the crown of thorns moves men not stones opens hearts not braids or strings fruits some folks on freedom close yeah freedom is a lonely place oh sweet banana spreading somebody balloons Texas so questions did you want to stand with really touch Larry's yeah are you really touched by how life can teach you basically and it also walking up to the reality that that I am my race it's not the only ways you've been downtrodden and stepped on it and it's happened is so many important just kiss me a different perspective which it takes me away from me you look at someone else and just feel it man like it like it was yesterday my only common every reason why i right read these poems is because we don't want it to happen against myself that's going to happen to us it will could happen to someone else and I understand their x-fire yes i'm going to thank you all for sharing the common bond i heard of each one of you presentations was a struggle killing raping displacement I just like to join me said to know that you know racism is ingest you know a black and white thing you know it's just you know exam and that that just gives me a broader scope and appreciation of other people whose plight like when the lady Shaunie Shaunie the I was raised in ohio so you were touching a lot of nerves and killings in me and on the town's you were mentioning the chillicothe that's now in prison you know and then Xenia but I really didn't know that we in Ohio and would basically uprooted to Oklahoma so so and this is like you're up the uprooting of being in Seattle your family and then put them on a train and go into Idaho you know and and it's titled lady is that one day is that the correct time did you Connor yeah okay yeah that was very touching much it was very touching and I really appreciate it you too ma'am god bless God has a song thank you so what's coming up is the connections when I stand here and look at the I know God is a lot of stories in this one topic related things and this is one of the reasons for writing right by sharing stories but there's some fortune or whatever that we do know one another connect experience some different shoes so you know let's let's hear from some other people you might have bits stories in your home that you that's fine yes this is for you experience your family and their displacement did that kind of lead you into education are like those influences kind of guiding you into what you do know professionally know the stories led me into anger and questioning how one can forgive and I have not reached forgiveness and I don't think I ever feel and I write about it and it's not cathartic for me but I find it's cathartic for someone else for other people so that in itself is okay like everybody was really moved by well just one of the comments you want to ask me you know how come you if you can't forgive and the suggestion is you know if someone does you wrong and you go up to them and you say I forgive you the oh okay fine that the comment was the person who did the wrong has to ask for forgiveness and then you can forgive yeah we got a ball a lot of these justices what happened in the past right so that essentially is an endorsement of Who am in our society is yeah you know we have you know society that's based on structural racism we see it every day in the work that we do and you know I agree with you Larry I think it's you anger can be a healthy thing because infuse you to actually shed light and you know to be asked to let go that I think is standing on a kind of privilege that you know that the other person has with you that's what impact does it have on us and to come up Oh long time I thought that was just black people and i found out friends but she's the darker darkest intervention her life and when I didn't know and then she she started going on no and so I think we need to be perceptive yes I want to piggyback on that because this there was a vitamin news right around the time that we was gathering out the submissions a decision we would like to include something about this an issue but it just wasn't time probably some of you cordless this happens in athletes in the Roma community and I'm a rama descent on my mother's side so I have particular sense of connection still and I'm writing about that in the whole post experience of the wrong do you remember there was an incident where this little blonde girl was taken from her parents or gramlich in Athens because she couldn't possibly be your mom because she was so blunt therefore she had been kidnapped we just wanted to age old stereotypes school children and then you know following on the way got two more grandchildren drama children were taken away from their families in Ireland say mark in every case it turns out that base with the biological children and that this thing about color everything just by skin and maybe absurdity the absolute absurdity that these children the privilege of those were one swung the other way seven your family meanwhile the rest of the camp and all the other camps the conditions that made them say what she was it wasn't for her to live those conditions how do you say one thing before i have a class at eleven-thirty and for whatever reason i picked a vehicle it occasionally used about 12 30 i'll fall asleep and can help of just do it and of course I master dismissed you can be back I'm not going to say whateva nigga jus is I'm gonna I'm gonna put ever I run firstly you sent me but Jack I felt that about to happen as I was sitting good and I just I had to fight it because I I knew that this and you people be here explaining all that you get experience throughout life this was something or it stay awake for today when you write a poem really start writing this way vibrate when you write so you can start off by writing today what it is I wish I yeah and so what you can do is just write it that way and afterwards filled a completed collaboration and so I don't even to copy my book to your library so it's over there on the left-hand side I'm selling my books it's just working dollars but for you today only five dollars estimation error here not even sign just because you are my question again Don about it he regarded to miss jakey's towards readings where is what is high regard to your books were they sold Oh so this my cultural DNA to be featuring so tonight we're having a poetry night event featuring I'm Ursula wazifa it's going to be six days out of boxing class with us around everyone for joining us again if you have a little yellow nasty fill out the cervix and what you like what else you want to be like for this to be a productive hour for you all mom thank you for coming again because you can check out and let's move a our guest today one more time

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