Charleston SC poetry

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the word “supreme” has been canceled

eye contact.

throw something away you thought you couldn’t live without. turn its memory-triggered touch into trash. remind yourself you have outgrown the past. look the future in the eyes & make it uncomfortable. keep diamond recollections on your mind and wear a crown then throw the crown away. there are things you call holy that are […]

Store-Bought Buddha

I’ve burned all of the sage, but I am barely on fire. I’ve counted every inhale and exhale of air and still came up short of breath. I’ve sat in silence only to unpause an explosion of thought. I’ve kissed cold hands, hoping to come away with a warm and friendly touch, and then I […]

The Creepy Crawlies

Inspired by Jamal Sutherland. Animation by Haley Monson Cops hide behind the bushes of busy highways like cockroaches planting themselves in the shadow pathways of your home. Danger has an ego. It disguises itself in comfort, shifts restlessly in the folds, and waits for acknowledgement. Lights on. Antennas up. Instantly, you realize you don’t have […]

They / Them / Us

Listen to this poem on Spotify + Apple Music. The preacher reminds us that we are never truly in our bodies. The skin is a blanket for an already warm soul, deep sleeping through life before heaven’s alarm clock. So, really, what could be more spiritual than realizing your spirit has outgrown the body it […]

of color

when someone asks you why it hurts the earth to pull one flower from a field of flowers, tell them you are the lilac or the hibiscus, growing and sunbathing in a community of natural color, and you know a lot of kinfolk who have the same roots. tell them your kind of people are […]

Give Yourself Some Flowers

Written as a gentle reminder to be in tune with your whole self. Let the music play when joy dances with sorrow.🖤 Check out the audio version & its remix, on all streaming platforms. Give yourself some flowers By Marcus Amaker, Poet Laureate of Charleston, SC And in the beginning, God gave your body a […]

Dandruff

On a head full of hair, there will always be weak strands. Knots on the brain are also knots in the stomach. Itch buildup. Gut-touched twists too tight on the scalp. Don’t cut them off or wish for an unraveling. Instead, be thankful that dry skin can still wear a crown. Be aware of the […]

Frances & Betty & Cicely & the Others

(a poem about Miles Davis) As if the ability to blow into a horn is more important than the ego balloon it took to suck the air out of a woman’s voice. As if Sketches of Spain is anything but a masterpiece. As if calling yourself “the prince of darkness” is something to be proud […]

The America I Know Could Use a Good Cry

I met America at a neighborhood bar. He offered me a shot of rum and I reminded him that Captain Morgan was a slave owner, so the bartender awkwardly slipped another liquid lie down my throat. I ordered another drink and was channeled by dark spirits. The courage of black ghosts who haunt American dreams. […]