A Poem on Generations Witnessing Cycles of Death and Destruction (Audio)
Posted on Feb 1, 2017
Written during the Obama era, Tamiko Beyer’s poem serves as a painful reminder of how “horde white-hot power” causes “rage that liquefies/ our hearts, whole communities,” regardless of our president’s skin color. Take a look at “As if balanced on light” and listen to Beyer read her poem below.
Tamiko Beyer reads "As if balanced on light."
As if balanced on light
By Tamiko Beyer
Even dying, sand-speckled,
non-ambulatory and toxic. Strange
into the water, we did not linger
I was thick
from shattered shell:
Who puts automatic weapons
of black teenage boys? Generations
A rage that liquefies
The president sends in the national
he signs just as white,
followed by secret service. Hand to system
When I was a child, so many queer
to the world’s infections. Cankers
A societal seizure of unseeing,
to skating rinks.
alive with sex.
Later, in the water, a welt
What to do
and our bloodshed?
All night long we were bruised and culpable,
my body splayed, its stalwart,
Tamiko Beyer is the author of “We Come Elemental” (Alice James Books, 2013) and “bough breaks” (Meritage Press, 2011). Her poems have appeared in The Denver Quarterly, Dusie and The Volta.
Truthdig will publish poems that offer insight into current events and sociopolitical themes relevant to today’s world. From entries across the nation, Truthdig staff will select poems based on both their artistic qualities as well as the social issues they discuss. To read our guidelines and submit a poem for our consideration, click here.
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