Monday, April 16, 2012

Poetry Monday.

i be an artist

i be an artist cuz my great granny was
kept 18 kids alive in rural Mississippi
holding a pistol in her apron to creatively solve any problems
cuz my mama was painting metal church chairs  with red spray paint
using yellow electrical tape to trim our counter tops
cuz she always wanted a yellow and red kitchen
but my daddy paycheck wasn’t long like that to afford remodeling
so she made due
cuz my granny had a whole lotta kids to feed
so she grew huge gardens
and let me help her can peaches
and made medicine
cuz them white doctors be trying to kill us
and who can afford an ER bill
that’s my art school

 i be an artist cuz my hands and mind just keep moving
ahead of me like a motor with no destination
and I feel funny inside when I haven’t written a poem in a few months
cuz lady terror came to me one night in our basement
built a soapbox
as a salve to help me heal from my daddy’s death
created herself to give me some solace
a place to rant and cry and scream
cuz I be mad
and still mad
that my daddy died on a cold hospital table like that

 i be an artist cuz I think differently
and the bills keep coming
so I made something outta paper
someone said they would buy it
since they love beauty
so I sold it
gave the money to the light bill
all is good with the world

 i be an artist cuz I grew up on wooden church pews
watching performance art in the pulpit
old ladies swimming in mid air
foaming at the mouth
chanting Jesus for hours
heads flung back and holy ghost took over
poetry spit every sunday
preachers are my art teachers

My great granny Rhodie born in 1894.

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Artist Statement

I create art for the ones who lost their voice a long time ago. I believe that impromptu spectacles can bring awareness to social justice issues that paralyze our communities. Lady Terror examines the relationship between public space and performance space and also explores ranting as a medium to address social issues and as a tool to empower communities. My art is local and neighborhood specific in its execution but global in its ideas around poverty, injustice and violence.