Category: Poetry

Amerikana Diaspora: Dusty shoes and Dirꓕy Soles

They came with defeat’d flags,
Broken spirits and tatter’d rags.
Hats of red and hearts treaded in black–
Cryin’ as though they had just been laid upon the rack.

What a difference a day makes,
A summer’s assembly was cited as a riot,
But home-grown ʇerrorism walked unmask’d on a wintry day .

T’was once too PC to take a knee, n’
T’was once too much to stand for water with le grande nation sioux
And thus woe, lest we forget,
to Plant seeds of #Hope,
Plant seeds of #Compassion,
Plant seeds of #Love,
Plant seeds of #Inclusivity.
Seeds of change are in always in abundance in Liberty’s Garden for those that care to dream.

What a difference a night makes,
The flames of intolerance have quietly subsided.
Bathed in moonlight and star shine,
Luna’s scent calms the tears of pepper’d stain lashes.

They left on deflat’d winds,
Rudely awaken’d from a television dream;
Shoes stain’d by a Benedictian tree’s (Inimicus Fraxinus Americana) sap,
And faces worn by the stretch of fear for a day that didn’t come.

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Michael Ray

Bachelors of English Literature
Humboldt State University.

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The Many Silenced Faces of Britshness: A close reading of Jackie Kay’s The Adoption Papers

Editor’s Note: More Black Diaspora Literature of the 20th Century can be found here: [ ]

Within Jackie Kay’s collection of poetry The Adoption Papers she presents a text that utilizes three different fonts to represent the three dominant voices; each voice is represented by a font, each font assuming the voice of one of the three females (in addition to a few other social voices, including an adoption agent and a desk clerk). The predominant voices within the text are a “birth mother,” an “adoptive mother” and an “adopted daughter.” The voices are “distinguished” through variations in typography; for the daughter, Kay adopts a Palatino typeface; for the adoptive mother she issues a Gill typeface, and for the birth mother Kay distinguishes her by using a Bodoni typeface (Kay 8). The fonts that the poet uses separate the voices in a way that Chris Dobbish describes as “egalitarian” in nature, suggesting that while the fonts are visibly different, one font is not greater than the other fonts. (It is not my intention to enter into a discussion about the multifaceted and intersecting histories of fonts at this point in time). The visual similarities that exist between the adoptive mother’s typeface and the Birth mother’s typeface are, at some points within Kay’s text, indistinguishable from one another.

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