Wednesday, May 27, 2015

As weeks pass, I'm very much feeling like a newly emancipated slave. The idea of not going to work everyday is just settling in. I felt it the day after Memorial Day. There was no going back to work on Tuesday. No # 70 bus to catch.  No walking across the Howard campus and into Founders Library.
Right now I'm in Canada and enjoying it. If I make some extra money I'll make a donation to a worthy abolitionist organization.

Meanwhile, life continues. Here is a link to a blog entry written by Kirsten Porter who is editing my collected poems:
http://willowlit.net/blog/

Yesterday I found myself around DuPont Circle.  I had to pick-up a copy of Niels Van Tomme's new book that he left with a family member. Niels who I met when I was associated with Provisions Library recently edited (with Pascal Gielen) AESTHETIC JUSTICE INTERSECTING ARTISTIC AND MORAL PERSPECTIVES. This is a theoretical book and one that I need to keep on my desk and pace/read this summer.

In the mail came a copy of Susan Deer Cloud's new book of poetry - HUNGER MOON. I love what she wrote in the front - Dearest Ethelbert, As you enter into this new season of your life, may there be no hunger moons - only strawberry moons and the sweetness of new ventures...

During my afternoon break, I'll read Susan's book of poems.

I'm slowly getting the home office in order. It felt good yesterday going to the bank - signing 2 book contracts for work coming out next year.

Many thanks to Nancy Morejon for translating my Oscar Romero poem into Spanish. Nancy will be arriving from Cuba on June 1st. Look for us at the ball park (Nats/Cubs) on June 6th. Nancy's father was an umpire in Cuba. Baseball has blessed us both.

NANCY MOREJON



Sunday, May 24, 2015

I AM THE LAND: A POEM IN MEMORY OF OSCAR ROMERO

I am the land.
I am the grass growing.
I am the trees.
I am the wind, the voice calling.
I am the poor.
I am the hungry.

The doors of the church are open
as wide as the heart of a man.
In times of trouble
here is a rock, here is a hand.

God knows the meaning of our prayers.
I have asked our government to listen.
God is not dead
and I will never die.

I am the land.
I am the grass growing.
I am the trees.
I am the wind, the voice calling.
I am the poor.
I am the hungry.

He who is resurrected is revolutionary.
He who is resurrected believes in peace.
This is the meaning of light.
This is the meaning of love.

The souls of my people are the pages of history.
The people of El Salvador are the people of the world.

I am Oscar Romero, a humble servant.
I am the land.
I am all the people who have no land.
I am the grass growing.
I am all the children who have been murdered.
I am the trees.
I am the priests, the nuns, the believers.
I am the wind, the voice calling.
I am the poets who will sing forever.
I am the poor.
I am the dreamer whose dreams overflow with hope.
I am the hungry.
I am the people.
I am Oscar Romero.


    - E. Ethelbert Miller

Poem published in First Light: New and Selected Poems by E. Ethelbert Miller
Black Classic Press, 1994.

An excerpt of the poem is published in Bartlett's Familiar Black Quotations
edited by Reth Powers, Little, Brown and Company, 2013.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

NANCY MOREJON

Cuban poet Nancy Morejon is coming to Washington DC the first week of June. She will be giving a talk about the poetry of Nicolas Guillen and Langston Hughes. I'll post additional information in a few days.

Here is a link to a 2002 interview with Morejon conducted by Sapphire:



Friday, May 22, 2015

LADY NOURA

After our IPS board meeting and a day of political discussions,Noura Erakat and I stood on a downtown DC corner talking music and laughing. Oh, we just couldn't agree on anything except how much fun we always have together.




The Scholars

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfsdrNvEuL8

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I've been reading Carole King's memoir,  A NATURAL WOMAN before I start my day. My friend Bev gave the book to me a couple of months ago after it sat in the trunk of her car for a spell. Interesting to read how King's song writing career started and how many hits she wrote. Good motivation for me during this time of transition and transformation.

I'm slowly getting the home office in order. I need to develop a new working schedule. If there is one thing that going to a job does it's the structuring of one's life into hours. If I'm not doing 9-5 for myself these days then I'm not working - which is deadly trap to fall into. I've started grading each day. Yesterday was an A day. A good television interview with John Kiriakou. I'll post it perhaps later today. I have to do 11 more shows for The Scholars.

I received notification of a poem being published in the next CLA journal. In the snail mail a copy of Obsidian magazine came. This is the last issue published on the campus of North Carolina State University (Vol. 14, No.2, Fall/Winter 2013). A poem I wrote for Reetika Vazirani is included in it.

Yesterday afternoon before taping The Scholars I spent about an hour at the Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives. This is a sweet spot on the Van Ness campus of UDC. If you love the music this should be a regular destination. It's located in the University of the District of Columbia Library-Bldg. 41, Level A.  Judith Korey runs it. Here she is (on right) with her wonderful staff: