One more from June Jordan

This poem reminds me a little of Evie Shockley’s “Ode to My Blackness.” But it was written long before “writing black” was common.  You can read this and more in The Essential June Jordan.

What Would I Do White?

What would I do white?
What would I do clearly full
of not exactly beans nor
pearls my nose a manicure
my eyes a picture of your wall?

I would disturb the streets by
passing by so pretty kids
on stolen petty cash would look
at me like foreign
writing in the sky

I would forget my furs on any chair.
I would ignore the doormen at the knob
the social sanskrit of my life
unwilling to disclose my cosmetology,
I would forget.

Over my wine I would acquire
I would inspire big returns to equity
the equity of capital I am
accustomed to accept

like wintertime.

I would do nothing.
That would be enough.

June Jordan



New collection of June Jordan’s poems

There’s a new selection of June Jordan’s poetry out, The Essential June Jordan.  Here is a short sample–a poem I love for so many reasons, not least because of the way the complexity of title plays against the simplicity of the poem:

Poem Number Two on Bell’s Theorem, or The New Physicality
of Long Distance Love

There is no chance that we will fall apart
There is no chance
There are no parts.

June Jordan

You could do worse than add this volume to your library!