Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Dana Weekes / Where Do We Bleed?

Dana Weekes

by Dana Weekes

ink no longer courses, no longer paces
races for my existence 

but ours. seeping through 
pages, parchments, photographs

canvases cloth 
fabric, above the fold

headlines. news sometimes.
at times. oftentimes skewed. 

ink shedding in cursive      p r i n t      typed
drawn, sketched, etched. molded prototypes —

tested insights. scripted – scriptures, gospel 
the gospel – proverbs.

ink waxed, candlelight
vigils burning

night after night
after night.

ink drops, colors – the blues 
transferred onto eulogies, the cries of 

lullabies. notes dangling
on a score, beats

records, 4/4 measure, off the cuff
on the tongue

chants – volumes, decibels, pitches
throats sore, bruised

in crowds, on corners
in harmony and discord.

ink penned in pulpits and pews, on pillows
dare we dream. yes! on pillows ink 

can narrate the theme, when polaris 
seems to have lost all her gleam.

ink dripped, poured, splattered.   breath 
to the suffocating – cated, dead 

by knees and needs never bent to pray 

grandma, the ancestors buried 
at sea, warned – forsooth, foreseen. 

ink flecked, rubbed
smudged, diluted as if a stain 

defying erasure, impermanence
time and time again

passed on, received by you 
and me – we

but what is ink good for 
when our existence is never believed?


My child, why uproot these seeds? From that first vociferous cry, I knew you.  
In the color fields, with Gilliam painting to Coltrane’s Giant Steps, I drew you. 

They stay on their grind with plastic butter knives and salivation. Spitting 
papercut thin lines, from razors beneath their tongues, to construe you. 

Yes you! Panting perpetually towards noxious constellations given proper 
names. “But by whom,” asked Morrison. Where is the light that comes through you?

Baker, Chisholm, Anderson – My Country, ‘Tis of Thee. The gospel still
must be sung – tucked in lullabies and eulogies of fragility. It is true you                           

must keep the force of Baldwin on your lips. Smith’s woo in your hips. Lorde’s 
diction of luxury at your fingertips. And, Dana, let the world catch up to you.


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