"Making My Own Rainbows" is an attempt to dispel the narrow definitions still forced upon African-American women and present the complexities of their humanity. It is a journey through the vicissitudes of life, a journey which includes, among many subjects, love, temptation, jealousy, lust, and vengeance. Buckle your seat belts and be warned. This is not your great grandmother's poetry!
Making My Own Rainbows Poems of love, life, and lamentation by Chriscinthia Blount 2 MAKING MY OWN RAINBOWS Copyright © 2012 by Chriscinthia Blount All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the author. This is an excerpt from a larger collection with the same title. ISBN 978-0-615-61805-0 Cover Design by Chriscinthia Blount Amazon Product Page https://www.amazon.com/dp/B007SGJZP0 (United States) https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B007SGJZP0 (Canada) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007SGJZP0 (UK) https://www.amazon.com.br/dp/B007SGJZP0 (Brazil) https://www.amazon.de/dp/B007SGJZP0 (Germany) https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B007SGJZP0 (France) https://www.amazon.es/dp/B007SGJZP0 (Spain) https://www.amazon.it/dp/B007SGJZP0 (Italy) https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B007SGJZP0 (Japan) Author Fan Page https://www.facebook.com/AuthorChriscinthiaBlount 3 For my great grandmother, Mary Bougknight Floyd my grandmother, Helen Mckinney my mother, Patricia Mckinney and my uncle, Rev. Dr. Arnold Mckinney 4 "A true writer can't easily turn writing off: it's in the blood; and one does enormous damage to oneself, the human spirit, and the fragile balance of everything if one does not take it seriously." Kenneth A. McClane W.E.B. Dubois Professor of Literature Cornell University 5 Foreword My grandmother and great aunts would not approve of the highly technological society we live in today. After all, only a "heathen" would update their profile online instead of communicating face to face. And yes, God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient, but attending a worship service via live stream is just going too far! How would you shake your neighbor's hand or tarry at the altar? Although our conversations are now peppered with words like "diversity" and "multiculturalism"; in this fast and furious world where people pretend to be color blind; the experiences of African- American women continue to be summed up in a word, a phrase, a sentence, or a "study" on the Black family. Whether at work, on travel, at home, or at church, we are still seen as the cleaning lady, the hired help, that indestructible monument robbed of all humanity. Even labels that seem complimentary often limit Black women and are used by those who have very little knowledge on the subject of which they speak. 6 If we allow ourselves to be defined and therefore created, we can be told who we are, how we should look, what we can do, and where we can go. We become dolls on strings being pulled in every direction but our own. Making My Own Rainbows is an attempt to dispel the narrow definitions forced upon us and present the wide spectrum in which Black women find themselves. These poems speak of love and loss, joy and sorrow, tragedy and triumph. It is my hope to share many stories, both beautiful and ugly, about the lives of African-American women. 7 Cactus Studded with thorns, I inflicted wounds deeper than my own. You were persistent as the sun; you must have known there were juices running inside me. 8 The Power of Ambivalence We were never introduced but with our eyes we spoke frequently. Through my eyes I see that you would hurt me and, seeking vengeance, I would hurt you. I never touched you yet we were quite intimate in our dreams. I know that you would satisfy me but air, bitter-sweet eliminates all satisfaction. To dismiss your presence cripples my soul. Yet to acknowledge you is to reminisce. You, familiar-stranger are in my mind forbidden. I stand before you only by the power of ambivalence. 9 A Distant Love (I) One night I watched a full moon as I walked. It followed me illuminating with memories of your love and I smiled. (II) Just think of me and I will return like a sparrow in the spring, whistling ballads, carrying sonnets on my wings. 10 Dispute If I allow my pride to stand between us, I would lose you for something less worthy. Talk to me for love is a conflict turned to compromise. 11 The Seed Suppose I declined to be your seed? Suppose I planted myself in the middle of my own dreams? Would you love me then? 12 The Third Round Having gone through rehabilitative rehabilitation, I think we should remain in our separate corners. I would rather leave this arena slightly bruised than battered. It is time and time to say goodbye. 13 42nd Street Scan Between 51st and 42nd the number six train stopped in mid-tunnel. It was dark. The lights went off and on and off. We were stuck again due to congestion of course. I wondered what death was like. Imagine me standing in high heels on an overcrowded train couldn't even hold on to a pole. My body was supported by other bodies. I stood helpless arms at my sides What else would come to mind but slave ships, coffins? 14 At Grand Central Station still I thought of death, of Black men old enough to be my grandfather, my father, or big brother shining shoes for white men in business attire, of human billboards passing out advertisements for Kodak film. What else would come to mind when brothers wear pride on their feet and call it Pro-Keds, Puma, Pony, and Reebok? Each day I scan the cocaine brains, reefah lovers, the uppers and downers, the wide-eyed and mystified, wooden soldiers walking toward destruction. 15 Temptation Lost in the labyrinth of ecstasy, your gentle voice, your eyes of endless journey... I want to touch you but must overcome this selfish desire. Go, for if I have you once, surely I will want you again. 16 Oh How I Remember Wet wintry morning, you, the possibility of spring. Your kiss was a sparrow's song like the wings of a butterfly tender. We danced beneath flaming sunsets our souls arabesque. Then summer came and we melted into the fallen constellation of fireflies. You are gone now, but oh how I remember nights when the moon whispered sonnets. 17 The First Time I Saw Mama Cry Mama said people cry when they are sad, mad, or happy. My sister made mama cry. "What's a nigger?" she asked. And mama cried. Maybe she was sad, I thought or mad... or happy. 18 A Poem for Malcolm Silent, the room began to pulsate in awe. I was reading a poem for Malcolm, El-Hajj Malik El -Shabazz. A student raised his hand and asked, "Is that the guy who wrote Soul On Ice?" I closed my book with no reply. 19 Consolation Prize Don't leave your wounds at the foot of my door; you've played this game too many times before. You always bring flowers, an apology, and a tear, a buffet of things you think I want to hear. In my mind I see you stripped of all pretense. You can no longer hurt me without consequence. I feel weak but I'll be wise. I'm not your consolation prize. 20 Don't bring me broken pieces when things fall apart. You have no substance nor have you heart. Though it sounds trite, I gave you my best. You were to be my lover not my guest. Take your flowers, apologies, ill-sorted ammunition; pack up your soul void of contrition. Yes, I feel weak but I'll be wise. I ain't your consolation prize. 21 Chriscinthia Blount, poet, playwright, and mixed- media artist, is a native of Bronx, New York and graduated from Cornell University's School of Arts and Sciences. She is a gifted writer who can take a few words and, like a magician, stir a slumberous spirit. She is well known for her honest and eloquent lyricism, her quick wit, sense of humor, and her insatiable appetite for things artistic. Although Chriscinthia has experimented with other literary genres, she still considers poetry the most sacred of American letters. 22
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