The North Star has dropped its paywall during this COVID-19 crisis so that pertinent information and analysis is available to everyone during this time. This is only possible because of the generous support of our members. We rely on these funds to pay our staff to continue to provide high-quality content. If you are able to support, we invite you to do so here.
Writing is the only way I know to demand justice from an uncaring universe.
~ Dorothy Allison
Reporting (a)live from 2020/where the minutes slowly fade into the archives of a callous history/but the closure still feels a million graveyards away/I would love to write something, beautiful/a lyric about a breakthrough/a solution psalm for anarchy that has erupted both by air and at the command of enemies of my agency/but I am engulfed in headlines that highlight reversals of progress/swallowed by stories that underscore counter-clockwise movement/ three-fourths into the dawn of decade 3 of century 21/still feeling three-fifths human/…occasionally, there is treasure in pitching from a platform of peril/in the ability to tell the world, “I’m on fire” and the world to say “that’s fascinating, give us more Black misery”
Here’s a check/here’s a fellowship/here’s a segment on prime time news/here’s that award you have been entitled to that our shelves have been hoarding/give us more insight to the ‘Black experience’ and we will give you more trinkets to denote your ‘arrival’
In the interim, I write in the wilderness/looking skyward for a silver lining while the path beneath my feet/is crowded with bodies that should still be above ground/ the noise pollution hindering my clarity/is a deafening reverb of sirens
The breaking news here is the persistent breaking of my spirit/but that’s old news/an old blues verse wailed from a familiar despair
Maybe tomorrow will yield something brighter.
About the Author
Donney Rose is a poet, essayist, Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, advocate and Chief Content Editor at The North Star. He believes in telling how it is and how it should be.