Toni in the Room with the Yellow Wallpaper – Irma Do

Her voice bounced off the yellow wallpaper,
Reverberating with strength and wisdom,
Uplifting the mahogany tones
In the old-fashioned design.
She refused to allow the surround to distract her,
Refused to explain her powerful gift.
She rose above inert ideas
Owning her freed self.


Toni Morrison died this past Monday, leaving behind an unapologetic legacy of literature centering Black American lives. She spoke candidly about racism in America, calling its function a “distraction” (read more here).

In this quadrille for De Jackson at dVerse (Quadrille # 83 – Voice), I have imagined her in the setting of Charlotte Gilman’s novel, The Yellow Wallpaper, to fulfill Christine’s Brave and Reckless August Feminist Book Title Challenge.

For me, Toni Morrison embodied the ultimate goal and greatest achievement for any writer/poet – that is, to write stories/poems as your Authentic Self.

You can read more of my writing at I Do Run

The Separation

How could I leave her there

I saw the bruises on her neck

and the underside of her chin

As soon as I landed

& when I departed

I held her hair back

As she vomited shaking

& clung to me bawling

As her monster jeered

“You act like your whole family is dying

She’s just going back to America

Now stop it.”

What could I do?

She begged me not to hurt him

& I offered up a thousand solutions

Even a citizenship marriage

But she was too sick to see clearly

Now she writes to me:

I’m so happy and so proud

You got out of your abusive relationship

I’m just so sorry I couldn’t do it

Then she doesn’t write anything

 

by Georgia Park

14 Black Girls, Women & Non-Binary People Every Womanist Should Know About

From the Black Feminist Collective

Black Feminist Collective

womanistdef Alice Walker’s “In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens,” 1983

Many institutions fail to educate Black History and Women’s History from the Black female and non-binary narrative. We are discredited for our contributions to the feminist movement and the civil rights movement. Civil Rights is often centered around cishet Black men, while mainstream feminism is often centered around cishet white women. While many women are already reprimanded for standing for their rights, Black women, girls and Nonbinary people are often systematically undermined and told that they should be remorseful of their voices when they speak out, which calls for a broader, intersectional and womanist agenda. I am grateful be part of a generation where the theory of intersectionality, the definition of womanism and movements like Black Lives Matter can build a socially and politically just society.


crenshaw_kim-1-e1559269605710.jpg Columbia Law School

Kimberlé Crenshaw – Intersectionality was first coined Kimberlé Crenshaw, the founder of…

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Perpetual Home | A Pro-Choice Poem

Meet Tene’sha Crews

Black Feminist Collective

2305479_0 TeePublic.com/desIgnite

I was once told, that my body is my only perpetual home

One that I rightfully and eternally supposedly own.

A home in which I paint the walls whatever colors I want

And plant whatever flowers I choose to display up front.

My home where I express myself,

My life choices, plans, future, and health.

I decorate my lawn with lavish roses and swans.

Yes, inviting she looks: “did you see what she had on?”

A fence secured, doors, and windows locked,

Although the mat says “welcome”,

Consent may say that “you’re not”.

My kitchen is clean and my living room is neat

Yet, I choose when to cook or whether you can have a seat.

My home is filled with choices, all of my own

From who can walk in, to who can answer the phone.

But at some point, my home became less of my own.

I…

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This Body Is Not An Apology – Christine E. Ray

this body
cleverly constructed
of blood and bone
muscle and sinew
has not always been
my safe house
others did their best
to paint its innocence
shame red
self-hatred black
carved the words
Lolita
Whore
Bitch
under my skin
rendering this body
an iron maiden
a scold’s bridle
a tomb

this body
scaffolded on
an inheritance of madness
and misfiring neurons
has been brought
to the knees
by emotional
and physical pain
this body
ever-changing
has not always
been my ally
a friend
at times
an enigma
a stranger
an enemy

this body
keeper of my soul
my essence
weathered my past
survived being
carved hollow by loss
this body
has bled crimson
cried oceans
howled with rage
embraced lovers
birthed babies
rejected expectations
of what a woman should be
could be
has dreamed universes
yet to be discovered
within me

this body
my body
that I continue to broker
peace with
that I have learned to respect
if not always cherish
has protected me
through five decades
vulnerable child
headstrong, obstinate teen
mother
survivor
fierce warrior woman
but this body
my body
will never be an apology

© 2019 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

The View From Her Chair

wind
I offer to switch seats

With the former mental inpatient

Friend of mine, recently released

When she divulges that the color of my couch

is distracting because it reminds her

of her stepbrother’s corduroy pants

When he forced himself into her mouth

And she says, no, that’s ok

I actually can’t stop staring

At your light blue orchid just above it

Resting on the windowpane

by Georgia Park