Summer 2019 - Poetry

Len Lawson

Frozone’s Bride

Honey can be anyone you imagine her to be
—Director

 

like Gaia / the spirit of the earth / with the wind for a voice / a holy vapor we banish so we do not have to deal with her reality / her echoes on ocean waves / her violent whirlwinds

Honey’s pain is just as ancient as her spirit / and she is just as pissed / Her name may have just been belted out by her husband at whim / not her actual identity / not her choice

for fourteen years she was only identified by her husband’s existence / like Lot’s wife / but with a booming exploited voice / hollow and one-dimensional / like a pillar of salt /

sprinkled in for comic relief / perpetuating the angry black woman / another sensationalized black voice ripped from its vacant throat / like Tarana Burke / who regained her body

and her voice despite it being mishandled by an abuser and a movement / Honey too / must gain both her body from the cutting room floor and her voice trotted out on stage / like

Sara Baartman / In a sequel where a woman takes the grand stage for all superheroes / Honey’s voice echoes from one end of the whitewashed Disney universe to the other / past

the crows laughing and singing in Dumbo / past Uncle Remus’ zipetty doo da’s in Song of the South / Her greatest super power campaigns for herself / over heroism / over

politics / over everything this nation has put ahead of the lives of black women / She knows her worth / She knows her strength / She doesn’t need a movement because she is one /

Her husband may be ice cold but her voice freezes the villainy of misogyny in its place / For Gaia’s sake / give this voice / that rides across the Atlantic to Mother Africa / and

back with the force of Oshun / with holy shrouds riding the four winds from her belly / baptizing land and sea / a body to match that power / to steal the show / with fresh anointing

Let’s not imagine her / Let’s behold her / body of a goddess / stampede of Clydesdales from her throat / Phoenix in her eyes / hair slain by gods / a Titan young warriors will praise

 


Len Lawson is the author of Chime (Get Fresh Books, 2019), the chapbook Before the Night Wakes You (Finishing Line Press, 2017), and co-editor of Hand in Hand: Poets Respond to Race (Muddy Ford Press, 2017). His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He has received fellowships from Callaloo, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Weymouth Center for the Arts, and a scholarship from the Emrys Foundation. His poetry appears in Callaloo Journal, African American Review, Verse Daily, Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. Len is also a Ph.D. student in English Literature and Criticism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. His website is www.lenlawson.co.


 

This project is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council

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