Editor Christopher Writes – #PoemADayForAYear: 12/06/15

So, there’s a woman called Rachel Dolezal whose story has apparently taken over Twitter today. She has pretended to be black, with the work of fake tans and dreading her hear. But she never said she was white to be begin with. Purely that she is a black woman. The lie came out when her parents showed childhood pictures of her.

On the face of it, this story is horrific. We are living in an age where the ‘black-face’ culture of the 50’s is looked upon with shame, and it is hard to see how this is any different. She has essentially donned the ‘black-face’ and we should feel appalled. There have also been plenty of people coming out now who identify as ‘trans-racial’ – feeling like they have been born in ‘the wrong colour skin’. It is really hard not to see this as offensive. I am white and I feel offended by this.

But then, if you think about it objectively, is it any different to trans-sexual people – someone who is born a man but identifies himself as a woman and so decides to take the necessary steps until she is comfortable in her body, or vice-versa. It really is not. If we want to keep parity, then when we call Rachel ‘racist’, we would have to call these people sexist.

OK, Dolezal infiltrated black communities under her guise but what she did while she was there was raise a lot of awareness for some very important issues. Yes, she could have just done this without the subterfuge but with what she was trying to do, it could be argued that she chose the right path to go down.

I’m not defending her, I’m not lambasting her. It is merely interesting to think about positions on this story. A lot of good points have been made about the work she has done, while a lot of good points have been made about how offensive it is.

Anyway, here is a poem.

Poem a day for five days,

for a month, for a year.

When all these things compound themselves,

do I write one, two, three a day?

Do I struggle to find new ways to say

the same five thoughts I only ever have?

‘I need a dump.’

‘Is it time for lunch?’

‘I miss my girlfriend

when she’s not driving me round the bend.’

‘I wonder what’s for tea tonight.’

‘After tea, I should sit down and write.’

I could cheat and do a haiku

and do a haiku

and do a haiku

until NaNoWriMo.

So now I do a novel while doing a haiku

and doing a haiku

and oh what’s the point.

All I’m doing is gambling

with my mental health.

It’s been eleven

months, close to 400 poems.

They’ve all been published though,

on my WordPress.

Files, folders, subfolders,

notepads, beer mats,

my thigh. Full of nonsense.

Roll around 2016 when it can all stop.

What’s the word for

something that goes of

continuously for two years?

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