Charleston SC poetry

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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 […]


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. […]

When I’m at Home, I Watch Star Wars. When I Watch Star Wars, I Write Haikus About War, Violence, and Memory.

Episode 1 Battle droid theory: Turn war into fetish, make army of robots. Episode 2 Soldiers are now slaves in galaxies of mass graves, programmed for violence. Episode 3 Fear is mutation, soul transformation and sin when man starts to kill. Episode 4 The family back home: Echoes and faint memories of life before war. […]

What It’s Like to Walk Under Shadows

written with Asiah Mae. Commissioned by Mayor John J. Tecklenburg for the removal of the Calhoun monument in Charleston, SC. I. There is a shadow that no one talks about We allow it to reside among us in our supermarkets In our schools At festivals where willing ignorant laughter topples over the chatter of my […]

20 ’til Infinity

New book: The Birth of All Things

Hey everyone! My latest poetry book is The Birth of All Things, available now. Click here to get your signed copy, or order a copy from Barnes & Noble.

“Sleep when the baby sleeps,”

they say. As if sleeping is a switch easily turned on. Especially when all of your mind’s power is being used for the electricity of fatherhood. Especially when you know that a dad could be a God, but you are a feminist. Especially when your daughter’s breathing could brush the quiet off of a cloud, […]

Retelling and the remembering

composed for the Anderson Slave Dwelling Preservation Fund Black spirits can not be absent from anything. Especially in South Carolina, where every open, abandoned space holds a family’s erased echo, and racism is embedded in every memory. We, the living, have the privilege of being restful ghosts. We haunt material things, and hold our history […]