Carol Ann Davis, Fairfield's residential poet and writing professor, offered a workshop once again about the importance of community and breaking out of the traditions of who owns language and decides what makes sense for all. Rather, she guides the teachers in an exercise so that everyone contributes a piece of the poem, but not the whole thing. The art of language becomes the beauty of the creation and everyone can take credit for what is designed.
The 2016 poem that ended up in my lap (to contribute the last line and title) is as follows. I love that it is not mine, but ours. Together, we compose better possibilities for survival and resistance to the violence of this world.
A Reconciliation of Revenge
From here, I don’t want to see the light – not yet –
Blackness surrounded me, and the dream was dark,
It stretches around the edge of tree line,
unresponsive to surprising plain and empty arched-blue.
I can taste my peanut butter and banana sandwich
distinctly on my tongue,
delicious satisfaction fulfilling an empty heart.
Good for him, I thought, he had it coming.
I watched him slump over like a frat boy at 3 a.m.
He just needs poetry books to wake up from his nightmare.
My peanut butter and banana sandwich beckons
coyly to me from my lunch pail.
We build a life,
we have traditions we look forward to,
(one of them for me is dinner in the park and the free concerts there).
The sounds of blackness shouting, “Never say die,” reminds me to be optimistic, and
wishing away the cynics, I recognize I’m alive.