"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Posts tagged “Western Pennsylvania Writing Project

My Conversation With God – Guest Blog

 

My conversation with God 7/13/13

I don’t want to talk about the Treyvon Benjamin Martin story

Because it’s been told before        because I know how it ends

black boy      dead boy        no boy wins.

And you,

you were supposed to be watching

keeping him from harm.

His mother prayed and prayed    and

you said you would       she believed

you could

he was the one in the hood

and you just didn’t.

Maybe you looked away for a second

got distracted,

heard thousands calling your name

so much you couldn’t hear him

couldn’t decipher it from the voices

the noises,

maybe you confused it with a cheer

when the field goal was good,

or a hymn        that was really loud

maybe you didn’t like what he had to say

all young and un-educated like.

but really,

how long would it have taken,

how long did it take

for you to call

for him to leave,

join you,

be rewarded

such a short time

in your care.

Was it just too dark that night?  Was he just too dark that night?

They say he looked like all the others, “all the other punks that get away”.

 

 — a poem by Cj Coleman

Cj teaches in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, is a Western Pennsylvania Writing Project Fellow (U of Pittsburgh) and a member of Madwomen in the Attic (Carlow University)

Cj emailed me this poem and I found this photograph in my archives to accompany her words.

Hoodie Day March 30, 2012

 Hoodie Day March 30, 2012                 Pittsburgh Public Schools


Open Letter to Shiny Buick Man with the Fuzzy Dice

Dear Shiny Buick Man
in York PA,

You’ve lived in my upstairs hall closet
over two years now, in a frame and mat.
I wanted to tell you
I took your picture
one January Sunday
just before I pulled out of the lot.
I lifted my camera off the front seat,
shot you quick, no time to focus.
Your car caught in a lovely light,
a luster pristine-
and you in your tie.
Maybe you were coming from church.
Or going.
Codorus Creek on your left,
but not the whitewater part.
The Heritage Rail Trail
(no trains that day)–
I want you to know
how I admire your fuzzy dice,
how they dangle still
frozen in that moment
from your rearview mirror.
I think you saw me.
But didn’t know what happened
so I thought I should write and tell you.
I hope you don’t mind.

Man driving a1960 Buick on a York PA road with Fuzzy Dice

Saturday night was the 7th Annual Poe*Art Reading and Art Show downtown in the Cultural Trust space at 805 Liberty. Ten Western Pennsylvania Writing Project teachers read their poems and displayed an accompanying artwork. This was the photo, shot in January 2009, I chose to use as a writing prompt. I went through the project in 1993.

Poe*Art 2010 is online for viewing click here      For more information about the Western PA Writing Project click here

A letter poem of address
to an unsuspecting man
who was just driving along
minding his own business.


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