The Black Unicorn

12 Apr

After tearing up Audre Lorde’s book, The Black Unicorn, for the background of my first piece, I decided to buy another copy to read. Audre Lorde was a queer Carribean American activist, poet, and women warrior. Here are a few of my favorite pieces so far:

Coniagui Women


The Coniagui women
wear their flesh like war
bear children who have eight days
to choose their mothers
it is up to the children
who must decide to stay.

Boys burst from the raised loins
twisting and shouting
from the bush secret
they run
beating the other women
avoiding the sweet flesh
hidden
near their mother’s fire
but they must take her blood as a token
the wild trees have warned them
beat her and you will be free
on the third day
they creep up to her cooking pot
bubbling over the evening’s fire
and she feeds them
yam soup
and silence.

“Let us sleep in your bed” they whisper
“Let us sleep in your bed” they whisper
“Let us sleep in your bed”
but she has mothered before them.
She closes her door.

They become men.

For Assata

New Brunswick Prison, 1977

In this new picture your smile has been to war
you are almost obscured by other faces
on the pages
those shadows are sisters
who have not yet spoken
your face is in shadow
obscured by the half-dark
by the thick bars running across your eyes
like sentinels
all the baby fat has been burned away
like a luxury your body let go
reluctantly
the corners of your mouth turn down
I cannot look into your eyes
who are all those others
behind you
the shadows are growing lighter
and more confusing.

I dream of your freedom
as my victory
and the victory of all dark women
who forego the vanities of silence
who war and weep
sometimes against our selves
in each other
rather than our enemies
falsehoods
Assata my sister warrior
Joan of Arc and Yaa Asantewa
embrace
at the back of your cell.

The Women of Dan Dance with
Swords in Their Hands to Mark the
Time When They Were Warriors

I did not fall from the sky
I
nor descend like a plague of locusts
to drink color and strength from the earth
and I do not come like rain
as a tribute or symbol for earth’s becoming
I come as a woman
dark and open
some times I fall like night
softly
and terrible
only when I must die
in order to rise again.

I do not come like a secret warrior
with an unsheathed sword in my mouth
hidden behind my tongue
slicing my throat to ribbons
of service with a smile
while the blood runs
down and out
through holes in the two sacred mounds
on my chest.

I come like a woman
who I am
spreading out through nights
laughter and promise
and dark heat
warming whatever I touch
that is living
consuming
only
what is already dead.

Anyway, here is what I cranked out last night. I think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. Can’t wait to see what happens next.


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One Response to “The Black Unicorn”

  1. janicelobosapigao May 4, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    you NEEEEDS to post up one of my poems.

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