Marcus Amaker

Author archive

Help me get a GRAMMY nomination!

My album with Quentin E. Baxter has made it to the ballot for Best Spoken Word album. For us to get an *official nomination*, we need votes from NARAS and Recording Academy members. If you know any Recording Academy members, will you send them this graphic? And tell them I’ll give them a hug. Please.

when falling into fear is easier than falling asleep.

my cat doesn’t like car rides. an otherwise fierce feline becomes a furry bundle of fear, rapid-fire breathing and foaming at the mouth, every second is suffocation, every bump in the road is permission for each hard breath to be a puke premonition on my feet, my lap, the back seat. but she paws her […]

antenna

cover my skin in sorrow, lay my body down with feathered tears. help me sleep with the dreams of friends who are having conversations with ghosts so that i can wake with their pain. a shared depression, a thread among empaths. give me the compassion and emotional power to be strong when needed.

on jury duty …

heads pointing down, eyes avoiding contact. the poet sits in the back, the best version of himself. Life on Mars in his hands, “Wuthering Heights,” low, in his ears. (Low enough that silence seems louder). A man in a blue shirt jokes about how he should have brought beer. I laugh as the scrolling, scrolling, […]

a piece of paraíso

(written about a poet in residence stay at The Betsy Hotel.) south beach is the sudden sweat that soaks up your energy, the sex stores sitting next to the sandwich shop. the bright bikini bodegas holding hands with bougie art museums, the over-priced cocktails mixed with cheap conversation, the poetry project that protects you from […]

our night at zero george

(written about this) we are here for one night but the experience is everlasting. solace drew us in with the dawn and a calm, despite the relentless summer downpour. the dinner was untouched by drama. it was crafted by hands whose passion is cooking; whose love for his family is reflected in food. we were […]

2018 Free Verse poetry festival

I’m overjoyed to bring another poetry festival to Charleston. How does this year differ from last year? For one thing, I think it’s important to … simplify. Last year was phenomenal, but felt scattered. So, I decided to limit the events to one week: October 17-24. The public art projects will happen throughout the month. […]

Poet in residence at Zero George

I was the poet in residence at the lovely Zero George, a stunning hotel and restaurant in downtown Charleston. I connected with the Zero George staff over an encouraging and honest conversation about making sure that spaces like this feel … open. And welcoming. Earlier this year, I did a poetry reading and workshop at […]

let’s talk about the weather

light follows us wherever we go, no matter how shadowed the mind. but darkness has a sneaky way of taking us over at night and sometimes its sleepy residue remains in the day in spite of the sun’s warm personality and efficient, persistent glow. we sleep through hot nightmares when the only cool air is […]

Inner twined

(commissioned for the Gibbes Museum and Charleston Jazz’ Art of Jazz series. Written specifically about the Betwixt and Between exhibit) You don’t have to look far for signs of connection. floor to ceiling strands of shared air, or sidewalk to sun oxygen, binding our breathing. trees are made up of the tightened tension of sticks […]