Marcus Amaker

Author archive

BLACK NUMEROLOGY (a poem for Walter Scott)

Walter Scott, I’ve watched your death hundreds of times. Recently, I counted the steps it took before the eighth shot grounded you: 13. you took 13 paces, running for your life, inline and online, the warrior stride of a 50-year-old body that died too soon. I wonder how many impressions your feet made before that […]

ambient noise

written for the Homeless to Hope Benefit Concert at sunrise, street sweepers silence the ringing filth of a late night’s vibrato. in the sneaky hours of the morning, empty bottles and parking spaces form a hushed choir, a privileged quiet, a soundtrack to the aftermath of the discord that comes with alcohol. before noon, the […]

COPY/PASTE (a spoken word poem)

… A poem about being the only black person in many spaces in Charleston. I wrote this after walking down King Street to attend a Spoleto event. I. i have always been the thing that’s not like the other – the analogue touch through digital screens, the bougie drink at a neighborhood dive, the black […]

tempo (self-portrait, part 4)

dear friends, allow me the space to re-introduce myself …

the birth of all things

the heartbeat miracle. cadence of creation. 150 beats per minute of pure God sound. a tiny thing, constantly growing. music of the body. energy in form. the birth of all things. the shadow self. the father’s joy. the dad’s anxiety. the tightening of the teeth. immortality as reality. a baby who will be greater than […]

The rain.

(written for a collaboration with Chicago composer Shawn Okpebholo and baritone Will Liverman) When the reality of racism returns, all joy treads water in oceans of buried emotion. Charleston is doing everything it can to only swim in a colorless liquid of calm sea and blind faith. But the Lowcountry is a terrain of ancient […]

the language we learn

I. masculinity doesn’t have to be toxic, but some men choose to put poison on their tongue. foaming at the mouth before flinging unholy thoughts into action. hungry for prey, licking their lips as biting words draw blood. women do nothing to feed this venom. porn and pop culture evolved from paper cuts to pixels […]

Creating Empty Space

The latest album came from my desire to s l o w d o w n. I feel comfortable in a slow space, but sometimes get caught up in the story of being “busy.” No more. These songs came to me from that spirit. Some of the tracks were unfinished songs on my hard drive […]

a divine feminine (wine + food 2019 poem)

if you believe superheroes didn’t exist, then you never knew Georgia Mae Jones. My grandmother. she could have saved the world with her poundcake – it had just the right amount of sugar to defeat any evil inside of you, it could turn a sour weakness into sweetness, take your tastebuds to hyperspace, and awaken […]

The United States of Anxiety (a spoken word poem)

welcome to the united states of addiction. in this country, your smart phone holds more meaningful moments than your memory. here, social media is social justice and history is a hashtag for broken screens to get their fix. here, fame doesn’t lead to fortune – just first-world problems. echo chambers for people at war with […]