November 30 – December 6, 2020: Poetry from Allie Wisniewski and Dee Allen.

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Allie Wisniewski

Allie Wisniewski is a writer, visual artist, and dancer, currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia. Both her writing and photographs reflect her deep connection to the natural world as well as her fascination with memory and the body. She graduated with a B.A. in English and Studio Art from Florida State University in 2018, and her work has appeared in Food Network and American Forests Magazine. You can usually find her introducing herself to local flora, reading magical realism novels, and eating elaborate home cooked meals with her loved ones. She is the author of the poetry collection Shades of Gold. Visit Allie on the web here.

The following work is Copyright © 2020, and owned by Allie Wisniewski and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Floodplain Forest

I rejected the South though it never reciprocated my disinterest, as a child
it coaxed me to the edge of the forest with blackberries 
dripping from brambles in June and said come!
Just a bit closer and the pine brush is friendly, 
don’t mind the way it tickles your calves but do mind the
banana spiders – they’re sweet on Sundays but firmly unhurried, 
moving slowly in the homes they built from nothing and crying
when machines come to cut them down.
The jewelweed is indifferent like all beautiful things, 
not knowing its perfection and not caring,
watching the spiders shrivel and me
picking muscadine skins from my teeth.

 

Pursuit of Harvest

there are a great many things i need to be doing and not one of them is arranging the figs in a bowl when i’m done they’re a sort of human pyramid except no one is scrambling for the top and there are no knees in the back of anyone’s middle school crush in middle school i had never tasted a fig i would have been different if things were different i squeeze one and it oozes the blood shed in pursuit of harvest i have to look away a moment of silence and then eat them all in one sitting it is the only instance i can think of in which everyone on the bottom died last

Dee Allen.

Dee Allen. is an African-Italian performance poet based in Oakland, California. Active on the creative writing & Spoken Word tips since the early 1990s. Author of 5 books [ Boneyard, Unwritten Law, Stormwater andSkeletal Black, all from POOR Press, and his newest from Conviction 2 Change Publishing,Elohi Unitsi ] and 28 anthology appearances [ including Your Golden Sun Still Shines, Rise, Extreme, The Land Lives Forever, Civil Liberties United, Trees In A Garden Of Ashes and the newest, Colossus: Home ] under his figurative belt so far.

The following work is Copyright © 2020, and owned by Dee Allen. and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Duck Hill

THE DEGREE OF CIVILISATION IN A SOCIETY
CAN BE JUDGED BY ENTERING
ITS PRISONS.

Fyodor Dostoevsky
Russian writer
Hit the figurative
Nail on its head
When he commenced
Those words to paper—

Montgomery County, Mississippi, 1937:

Bootjack McDaniels
Red Townes
Witnessed justice,
Like money,
Changing hands

From courtroom justice
Before a black-robed magistrate
To Southern justice
Before a howling mob
Wanting to stain their white hands red.

Bootjack McDaniels
Red Townes
Were pulled deep
Into the maniacal heart
Of a tormentors’ circle overgrown.

A few bad men
Overpowered Winona
Town Sheriff’s deputies to grab those two
Quickly, orderly,
But far from quietly.

Bootjack McDaniels
Red Townes
Took an unsettling school-bus ride
While hog-tied
And terrified

School-bus, cars, trucks, midday
Country motorcade rolled
One mile from the grocery store
Where all this began—Five hundred
Gathered in the woods of Duck Hill to see

Bootjack McDaniels
Red Townes
Shirtless, tied to trees
With rope and steel chains
Unwilling stars in a show provided for the deranged.

Confession extraction technique:
Plumber’s blowtorch
Bare backs blackened further,
Exposed flesh sizzled from
The touch of hot flame.

Bootjack McDaniels
Scorched, then shot.
Red Townes
Burnt alive
Strapped down, charred

Husks of men.
Dual warnings to other
Black men to never
Raise a shotgun against a White man,
A shopkeeper, least of all.

Given such a shred of history,
Such demonstrations of cruelty,
Delusions of supremacy,
I can do
Dostoevsky one better:

THE DEGREE OF CIVILISATION IN A SOCIETY
CAN BE JUDGED BY THE WAY IT TREATS
PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT.