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DJ Dolack

from “Flying Point”

About this Poem 

“‘Flying Point’ is a long poem in progress comprised of many short meditations. The full piece, which arranges and moves through these as seasons, grounds itself in the cadence of the natural world and its ambivalence to human kind. The poem is also perhaps an attempt to dissociate from daily life in the city, where we are constantly asked of, pleaded with, and demanded to.”
DJ Dolack

from “Flying Point”

DJ Dolack

The sea
calls to witness
some vastness

or that which
is only a declaration
of the limited
and the countable.

And the sun some tourist
wades out each morning
in obligation

to touch
for a few moments
and to forget and drown.

And then later the moon
high as a pill
does its own work

emitting no light but re-guiding
light emitted by another:

six ships in the hour
follow each other
far off

into some great
length of silence.
 

Copyright © 2015 by DJ Dolack. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 6, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2015 by DJ Dolack. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 6, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

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Lemon Andersen reads on the High Line as part of “After Sunset: Poetry Walk," New York City, 2015.
poem

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
Maya Angelou
1978
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