Silence and freedom

The quotes prefacing my poems below are taken from a 1977 paper delivered by Audre Lorde titled, “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action”.

“What are the words you do not yet have? What do you need to say? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence?”
the bureaucracy of joy
Operationally exigent, the
Skill of my day-to-day is
Contingent, held by the
Noosed nylon that will swing

You to the other side; the door
Is procedure, sentiment; cross that
Tee and knot that eye with thatched
Thistle carving up the parchment

Into friendly spaces, cells and columns,
Political economy of verbs & nouns,
Forms content with fill, ink’s dissent
With fill of space, the dotted eye.

“We can learn to work and speak when we are afraid in the same way we have learned to work and speak when we are tired. For we have been socialized to respect fear more than our own needs for language and definition, and while we wait in silence for that final luxury of fearlessness, the weight of that silence will choke us.”
rules of communion
Commit to the arbitrary whim
That seeks plenitude but knows

Not how, and then organize those
Whims, the exigencies of action.

Figure out the ancestry of the
Why of what you have to do, and

Write it down: to commit is to
Want to breathe, sink and greet.

“The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.”
freedom is inherently dangerous

freedom is inherently dangerous; it can
unfetter the slovenly pink and discolor
the unfelt solder, the axed appropriate
mandate, the breaking of swords, triads

of affiliation, tinpots of manged hate;
freedom is thus danger; and why not? it
reeks of past, it seeks the past, flits
of memory crawl out of nowhere nothings

9 comments on “Silence and freedom

  1. […] to repost. She asked me to dedicate it to Qandeel Baloch, so I do. One of my recent posts is Silence and Freedom which is relevant to both this post and Baloch in two ways: i) the external form and ii) Audre […]

  2. tmezpoetry says:

    Reblogged this on Tammy Mezera and commented:
    An excellent writer with too little audience~ Check him out 🙂

  3. Excellent work. I’ll be back to read more/ 🙂

  4. Anita Lubesh says:

    I am here to ask if you would lend your amazing talent to a project;

    We have 100 contributions to date, and I am trying again to rope in as many contributors to the Poets for Peace challenge (in place until this the end of August). The many voices in response to this have been fantastic, and I’d love you to add yours (again, if applicable) if you can. Feel free to use an existing piece of writing or a new one asking for peace and/or about the troubled times in which we live.

    If you are interested, please leave your poem in the comments section of Neha’s bog and it will be added. https://forgottenmeadows.wordpress.com/2016/07/16/calling-all-poetscreative-minds-to-a-grand-collaboration-poets-for-peace/comment-page-5/#comment-19287

    Thank you –
    Your voice matters.

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