Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Intimacy of Praise: Wahneema Lubiano

for Wahneema

attention gains wings
from the way you listen

like a magnetic lift
a secret spring
that firms eye contact
into a place to be

what was glass ceiling
becomes sturdy
to rest books on
past our reach

or foam legos
get born out
your phrases
placing each into
soft frames for knowing

in other words
i was never going to stay
with one metaphor
so thanks
for building
the slide

Wahneema Lubiano is a Professor of African and African American Studies, Literature and Women's Studies at Duke University. She is also the author and in person speaker of words that will blow your mind everytime. Despite all of this, she is the most generous teacher I have met.
This is part of a series of poems and collages by Alexis Pauline Gumbs. To see the entire series go to The Listening Project.

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