Posts by Fleda

My Wobbly Bicycle, 148

Posted by on Feb 7, 2018 in Featured | 4 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 148

My last post was idiotic.  Black poems, white poems? Guess I was just fishing for an angle and took that easy one.  Categorization, of course, is the most human of endeavors. But a poem is a poem. It might come from an Afghan, a New Zealander, a Cuban, but we generally call it a poem if the writer does. There are family traits, a DNA of its heritage, but they’re poems, good or bad.   I have no intention of evaluating Nikki Giovanni’s poetry. Not here, anyway. I’m more interested in the minds of black writers, in general. I admit, I have had the fuzziest idea. Forgive me,...

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My Wobbly Bicycle, 147

Posted by on Jan 31, 2018 in Archive | 7 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 147

Nikki Giovanni, II:  in preparation for our conversation on March 9.  I promise not to wear out the subject ahead of time! I still have plenty of questions left.   I look at her poetry and I look at mine. I, who absorbed a great Western culture and knew it belonged to me, that my job as a writer was to extend it, bring it to the present, re-awaken it. This is not an apology for my heritage. It’s an awareness. It took many years for me to realize I was white. You know what I mean. If the entire world you know is white, if your aesthetics have derived from whiteness, how can you see...

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My Wobbly Bicycle, 147

Posted by on Jan 18, 2018 in Archive | 4 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 147

I hesitated several days before I said yes to interviewing Nikki Giovanni for the National Writers Series at the Opera House (date is now March 9). Black poet who’s raged against white people. Years ago, right? We were young. But she may feel the same,  even while smiling. I dunno.   In Fayetteville, Arkansas, where I grew up, the few blacks lived in basically a ghetto behind the courthouse. Black children who wanted a high school education had to ride an hour on the bus over the Ozark Mountains to Fort Smith. We probably said to ourselves, “This isn’t right,” but until the...

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My Wobbly Bicycle, 146

Posted by on Dec 27, 2017 in Archive | 8 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 146

What would be a good poem to start off the new year? Lord knows, fireworks would be appropriate. Oh no, I am so sick of fireworks. How about something peaceful? How about a barn and a barnyard?       Landscape This painting of a barn and barnyard near sundown May be enough to suggest we don’t have to turn From the visible world to the invisible In order to grasp the truth of things. We don’t always have to distrust appearances. Not if we’re patient. Not if we’re willing To wait for the sun to reach the angle When whatever it touches, however retiring, Feels invited to...

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My Wobbly Bicycle, 145

Posted by on Dec 20, 2017 in Archive | 5 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 145

A Christmas Letter: Plates of cookies and baskets of scones have appeared on the bench outside our door. Our ceramic bowl is full of Christmas cards, some with letters enclosed. I come to this season, shoulders heavy with my personal backpack of social inadequacy. We haven’t sent cards in what, three? four? years. It has been so long since I baked cookies that I talk about “my” cookies as an historical event.   Thank you for the cards and the cookies and the scones and the rum cakes. You are providing sustenance for a lost soul who stumbles through December, always uncertain how I...

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