here's the first poem i've written in a while - can't vouch for its quality, its an emotional outburst:
poems say i have forgotten how to write poems what could you tell me of a poem in this world where the air is toxic and the water is toxic but children have been brought back to play
i don't know pretty ways to say the water was over the houses boats were chained and people drowned and the smell of death does not dissapate and i'm too young to recognize it so quickly but then this is the second city i've seen collapse
and when i meet survivors i feel pathetic because i am so just barely not weeping and i make charts and they have walls black and soggy from the sludge which came in the night from canals, industrial canal, from rivers where water was an enemy but we made plans
we made plans even though people were still missing and to be honest finding people only illuminates the losses but what do i know? they're all smiling and even i can think of something funny and how could i? and how could i not?
then we drove the streets where the ground was covered in the dried water of, in the dirt of, in the detritus of - god, god it was everywhere, it is everywhere and i can't get clean and when i next stood in scalding water i couldn't remember what i did and why i didn't come and get people
i resolve again that we must learn to save each other we must free people's minds so they can save themselves but who knows how to do that i've never felt my stomach so tender for so long that tumultuous stranger's grief learning to read the code on the buildings
2 cats, kittens under house, 4 dogs parakeet, child recovered no one found, 1, 2 and 4 people
when i sleep i have nightmares water coming in the dark and no way out water coming in the middle of the night the water line on my face waking up to the sound of water all around water already too high to drive through water comes in my dreams and coats me comes in my eyes and ears and coats me my throat and tongue and fills my lungs and
i am always somebody's only child i am a mother, i have lived in this house this has been my home since world war ii and i own it and i am not leaving it not at gunpoint, not to go to no where, or somewhere cold - i've seen wind and i've seen water and i've seen your kind so leave me be i won't leave not to never come home
i am a mayor who speaks like a brimstone pastor but acts like a fish on the shore i am guilty and i am blameless i am a politician and i don't know how to do anything only speak, only dream i cry, but only in the bathroom and alone
i am a child, swimming towards the superdome i am a child and i know i can't handle what i am seeing and what i see is death in every direction and what i see i my mother taken by men who are not my father and my father taken by time and heroism and stubbornness and the water
dear god i am scared of these ghosts floating spirits up from broken homes smiling, bitter we knew this would happen we knew it was possible that - given a chance you would leave us to die leave anyone leave us black people who own our homes on land you want and we won't go, not till god takes us you won't be free of us, the air is thick with our suffering
you would leave us poor white people who have always been here and we don't have shit and we've never had shit and we aren't scared
we are your day laborers we are your maids and we can give you a roof and we can give you signs of life but some of us, if you must know before any storms came because of the way you let life fall so heavy on us we are vacant we are hopeless we aren't lovely, we are looters we aren't saviors, we stink can you love us, can you listen to us? we know you saw us, we know your hearts broke
and if you think we will give it all up go on, break our hearts again bulldoze our world and pile it up and take it away rebuild, higher, better, more sturdy the land isn't meant for you, it will break you too
but you cannot break us we'll go kicking and screaming and when its safe we'll creep back in the night and you who never loved us you who never loved this you won't understand why we stay and die, why we come back and fight
but you who see us, do not forget do not forget what was done to us do not forget this is our home do not forget you are us and we are you do not forget you saw it and you were moved you cried for us you watched it all and we far flung are just stars burning it may take us light years till the scent of explosion is gone and we may fall through the dark we may not know how to do it the right way, returning you might not want it you might not allow it you might even build walls designed to keep us out levees high enough to stop the flood of returning legislate the right of return, the right to our homes and we may not feel the pull anymore, of that orbit of ours that new orleans of old that criminal scandalous beautiful laughing horn blowing new orleans but those are our homes in that dirt those are our beloveds in those tombs that is our city and we left solemnly for this funeral but we will come back in celebration, dancing preceded by magic everywhere
and we will not forget our way home
and now 50 questions, a compilation of questions from different places like inside the actor's studio and the all-about-you email and vanity fair....just cause!
1. What is your full name? adrienne maree brown 2. What color pants are you wearing? slate gray, or grey - my preferred spelling of that color. wonderful tight biz-cas pants i wear too often which my sister april gave to me because she is now a marathon runner and much smaller 3. What are you listening to right now? Etta James 4. What was the last thing you ate? zen palate sweet and sour sensation and taro spring rolls 5. Do you wish on stars? in ny, that's a rare sighting. elsewhere, desperately. i specifically wish that if anyone else is out there that they come visit and help us with some large scale conflict resolution and evolution issues we're facing, planetarily. 6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? oh something very solid and bright, a deep turquoise? fantastic fuschia? 7. How is the weather right now? ny fall, chilly and gray and very sexy layer weather. the season of evans richardson. 8. Last person you spoke to on the phone? my sister autumn, who is very cool. no actually hobbes from oakland. or - actually it was a conference call with up4democracy about new orleans network folks 9. Do you like the person who sent this to you? i like all the 400 billion people i have received things like this from over the course of my email experiences 11. What is your favorite drink? whiskey 12. Favorite sport? is hottubbing a sport? i am sooo good at that...swimming, scuba diving, anything in water 13. What is your hair color? it's back to natural now, very dark brown 14. Do you wear contacts? nope. never even tried them. its on the list after joining a gym so...maybe when i'm 30? 15. Siblings? two gorgeous stunning brilliant amazing women, april nicole the marathon running photo-journalist family oriented one who lives in south carolina where she is dating a big defensive end on the USC football team (thats not him in the picture, he black!); and autumn meghan the early christian religion and greek reading professora-to-be actress-organizer who lives at 107th and manhattan and dates a hottie hippy from minnesota.
16. Favorite month? Any month when I'm on vacation. 17. Favorite food? Thai, generally, and Lebna, specifically today 18. What was the last movie you saw? two documentaries - word on the street by ny-la hottie asif ullah, and stigma by ny-miami hottie tchaiko omawale. 19. Favorite day of the year? christmas with my family. santa still visits, though we are all over 20 now, and we all give each other sweet sentimental thoughtful gifts, which ends up becoming a present war between my two still deeply-in-love parenst, and then we eat orange sweet rolls, my mama cooks a bangin meal and we spend the whole day just giving each other love and watching our new movies and dancing together and being together 20. What do you do to vent anger? um...do you mean how big is the phatty i smoke? just kidding, i take a pleasure moment to relieve stress. usually by the end i've forgotten the stress completely. 21. What was your favorite toy as a child? i don't remember specific toys - i liked coloring and drawing - still do. and i liked to come up with very intricate dialogues while doing the dishes after dinner - i'd play out both parts of a romantic spat 22. Summer or winter? summer 23. Hugs or kisses? kisses, i love and love and love kisses, really good hot kisses 24. Chocolate or vanilla? Dark chocolate 25. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? no, this is a selfish endeavor 26.Who is most likely to respond? no one? 27. Who is least likely to respond? no one? 28. Who is the friend you have had the longest? other than my family who are my road dawgs? sofia 29. What did you do last night? got home from new orleans, cried for a second on sofia's shoulder, then vegged out to t.v. while sofia and her housemates rearranged the house so their landlord could come see it and not think three people lived there. i think they overdid it, but i had also sipped tequila out of a water bottle the whole plane ride home and didn't feel like weighing in on the matter...then went home and slept so hard and dreamt no dreams. 30. What are you afraid of? power hungry people 31. Plain, buttered or salted popcorn? Buttered and salted 32. Favorite car? no car, but HYBRIDS all the way 33. Favorite flower? bamboo, spider plants. shit that's REALLY hard to kill. 34. Number of keys on your key ring? 3. that's 3 too many. i hate keys, and feel much envy for folks who live in places where they can leave their doors unlocked. 35. How many years at your current job? damn, two i guess! 36. Favorite day of the week? friday night, in my own bed. 37. What did you do on your last birthday? i went to the turkish baths, got a massage, then had a small dinner with close friends. it was my first year in a while not doing a big party and it was a massive relief not to have to think of making a great party for others. 38. How many states have you lived in? 6 39. How many cities/homes have you lived in? i keep losing count around 19, my memory isn't the best one anyone ever had. 40. favorite indulgence? getting rubbed on by professionals, and cab rides when i return from a long trip 41. favorite curseword? fuck. 42. what turns you on? generous and really smart people with really great senses of humor, politics and style who aren't easily charmed but are physically and intellectually interested in pleasure and alternative forms of intimacy...alternate from a straight up boyfriend girlfriend marriage baby path. people who don't get jealous. 43. what turns you off? ignorance in any form, folks who think they own me, jealousy, people who like me (so ignant, i like the crush and pursuit but then i get horribly bored), people who fumble about my body with no skills, pessimists and...ooh people who are totally self-absorbed! lol... 44. where were you happiest? in the south pacific with my parents and sisters and my dog Sugarfoot, swimming and diving everyday, with internet access and plenty of journals to write in all day, and only biking on the island, and dolphins and the sun rising in my backyard over the ocean. 45. have you ever been in love? desperately. four times now i've cried desperately over the loss of my future babies with someone which i suppose is my marker for love. each time i realize it wasn't really love before, because this is so much more horrifically painful...the babies thing, this may change drastically as i am currently unconvinced this world is good enough for babies. 46. favorite position? doggy, hair pulled, someone breathing in my ear 47. who do you look up to? survivors who remember how to laugh, malcolm and ella baker, people who break through to new territory on the environment like andy lipkis 48. who do you detest? no one. i find hatred a lowly exhausting and petty emotion. i'll add hate to my turn-off list. 49. who do you love? my family, which includes my dearest friends 50. if you were to come back as a person place or thing, what would it be? water - drinkable, livable and plentiful water. an endless well, a summer storm, coming and going, prayed for and a blessing.