Saturday, May 17, 2008

Farah Jasmine Griffin

for Farah Jasmine Griffin

it could be
that bright paper
intentional folds
and stolen staples
are deceptively long term
propellers that
wing awake in our chests

it could be
that sound has its own
sweepstake calculus
that listening is the prize
when our eyes

it could be
that teaching is a faith
in rebirth
not through a doctrine
of more selves
but in rays of growth
frames of reflection

it could be
that I had
already known
all of these things

but it is
to say it

it is crucial
to say

that the first time
i heard
and recognized
each of those

it was you
who was speaking

Farah J. Griffin is a Professor of English and African and African American Studies at Columbia University. She is the author of and Who Set You Flowin' , Beloved Sisters and Loving Friends and If You Can't Be Free Be A Mystery. Something about the way Farah told me about Kitchen Table Press eight years ago gave birth to the obsessive research that still shapes my everyday.

This is part of a series of poems and collages by Alexis Pauline Gumbs. To see the whole series go to The Listening Project: A Poetics of Relation.

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