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The Talking Back of Miss Valentine Jones: Poem # one -- June Jordan

Guest poem submitted by Nisha Susan:
(Poem #1724) The Talking Back of Miss Valentine Jones: Poem # one
 well I wanted to braid my hair
 bathe and bedeck my
 self so fine
 so fully aforethought for
 your pleasure
 I wanted to travel and read
 and runaround fantastic
 into war and peace:
 I wanted to
 and be conquered
 I wanted to pickup the phone
 and find you asking me
 if I might possibly be alone
 some night
 (so I could answer cool
 as the jewels I would wear
 on bareskin for you
 digmedaddy delectation:)
 you comin ova?"
 But I had to remember to write down
 margarine on the list
 and shoepolish and a can of
 sliced pineapple in casea company
 and a quarta skim milk cause Teresa's
 gaining weight and don' nobody groove on
 that much
 and next I hadta sort for darks and lights before
 the laundry hit the water which I had
 to kinda keep an eye on be-
 cause if the big hose jumps the sink again that
 Mrs. Thompson gointa come upstairs
 and brain me with a mop don' smell too
 nice even though she hang
 it headfirst out the winda
 and I had to check
 on William like to
 burn hisself to death with fever
 boy so thin be
 callin all day "Momma! Sing to me?"
 "Ma! Am I gone die?" and me not
 wake enough to sit beside him longer than
 to wipeaway the sweat or change the sheets/
 his shirt and feed him orange
 juice before I fall out of sleep and
 Sweet My Jesus ain but one can
 and we not thru the afternoon
 and now
 you (temporarily) shownup with a thing
 you says' a poem and you
 call it
 "Will The Real Miss Black America Standup?"

                       guilty po' mouth
                       about duty beauties of my
                       boozeup doozies about
                       never mind
                       cause love is blind

 I can't use it

 and the very next bodacious Blackman
 call me queen
 because my life ain shit
 because (in any case) he ain been here to share it
 with me
 (dish for dish and do for do and
 dream for dream)
 I'm gone scream him out my house
 cause what I wanted was
 to braid my hair/bathe and bedeck my
 self so fully be-
 cause what I wanted was
 your love
 not pity
 cause what I wanted was
 your love
 your love
-- June Jordan
Here's a poem which does not fit into the current theme but I send it
because it is a pure unalloyed delight. It was my first June Jordan poem and
now I am scouring the countryside for more.

Alice Walker called her the universal poet. But more exciting is the
description of the unnamed copywriter on the Random House site, "There
aren't any streets or postal holidays named for June Jordan, but she's
cherished by and collaborated with her own share of landmarks: she has
planned a new Harlem with R. Buckminster Fuller, sipped coffee with Malcolm
X, gotten teaching advice from Toni Cade Bambara, co-starred in a film with
Angela Davis, and written an opera with John Adams and Peter Sellars. But no
June Jordan Day. Yet."

More poems at:

More on June:
[broken link]


28 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

galaga90210 said...

I enjoyed this contribution, and being introduced to June Jordan. The
poem itself seems to be about romance, but perhaps it's really about
living, and the sheer effort involved, leaving the yearning for love
taking a second place to the practicalities of daily challenges.

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