Give Now  »

Indiana Public Media | WFIU - NPR | WTIU - PBS

Noon Edition

The Beekeeper

Read Transcript
Hide Transcript

Transcript

“I am sick of writing this poem / but bring the boy. his new name / his same old body. ordinary, black / dead thing. bring him & we will mourn / until we forget what we are mourning / & isn’t that what being black is about?”
- Danez Smith, not an elegy for Mike Brown

Adrianne Embry is a native of the Far Eastside of Indianapolis. She is currently attending Indiana University where she will be receiving her bachelor's degree in theatre in the fall. Adrianne is one of the founders and co-presidents of Indiana University’s Black Brown & Beige Theatre Troupe. She was also a co-host for the Bloomington Poetry Slam.

Welcome to the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey. Adrianne, what poems have you brought for us today?

 

The Danger of My Kin

There are black boys who find their bodies invincible

And they too will bleed

There will be black bodies missing from the Sunday

Dinner table black holes placed in remembrance of them

Those in attendance, like the black boy, will bleed too

Ain’t nobody safe ‘round here.

We all being taken somewhere blacker with the boys

Blacker as in the absence of everything

Not as in our cookouts Ricky missed

Blacker as in the absence of your cousin

Blacker as in bloodied sneakers…the fresh ones too

You know the uncreased Air Jordan 32’s

Blacker as in that last biscuit covered in honey

Every year at the family reunion the list gets longer

There seems to be more ghost than bodies now

And ain’t that just the blackest thing?

Ain’t that just what we used to?

 

  

The Color Purple

We all know Teresa mad again.

Didn’t we stand there watching

Waiting for a storm to occur?

Don’t you hear her crashing bones

between her teeth?

At least she gave us a calm before it occured.

We were able to watch from balcony and car.

Safe. Undrenched from her wet.

Teresa real magic. Black girl magic.

Black girl make it rain. She help quench the dry

soil that’s smothering her kin. She turn daylight

Purple. She makes the sky sing.

 

 

Freeze Frame

I am lavishly sippin on Moscato as I write this

My fingers are dipped into the honey on my sweet butter biscuits

My homie is braiding my hair, Badu playing in the back

Going on and on with her voice drenched in honey

She making me feel pretty about my black

My 4C hair trickles to my naked brown shoulders

It drips from me onto the floor

I am arguing with everyone with a mouth full or warm biscuits

The good kind too All hot and golden

My mouth is too full of beauty to lie

I tell them Lil Mike do look like a milk dud though

We pause in time here. Finally, we safe and laughing.

The moment continues

a body goes missing.

 

 

The Beekeeper.

A swarm of bees is weighing down the pink of petals

finally pollinating in peace and the world is still revolving.

They are passing our sun kissed ankles and shoulders.

No one is screaming or swatting or stomping

They are allowed to live in peace.

How lucky my people would be to be bees.

It’s easier for white skin to recognize these insects as docile unless provoked.

My people are viewed stinger first. As threat.

You know black people always provoked.

I am receiving more looks of caution than the swarm neighboring me.

They walk closer to the bees than me.

I feel them though. They only sting when provoked.

You know they don’t provoke the damn bees.

Something is off.

Maybe they’re calm around bees because in winter they’ll die off.

Maybe what makes bees and black people different to them is resiliency.

They study and protect them.

They scrutinize, stomp, and spit at us.

They want us to be bees.

They want it always to be winter.

They want our black bodies turned to blue then dropped.

Decayed before we even hit the wet earth.

They want my people to be bees in exchange for a Summer of peace.

In exchanged, come winter, our wings will be clipped.

Brown skin falling like snow.

 

You've been listening to the poems of Adrianne Embry on the Poets Weave. I'm Romayne Rubinas Dorsey.

Bees

(pxhere.com)

“I am sick of writing this poem / but bring the boy. his new name / his same old body. ordinary, black / dead thing. bring him & we will mourn / until we forget what we are mourning / & isn’t that what being black is about?”
- Danez Smith, not an elegy for Mike Brown

Adrianne Embry is a native of the Far Eastside of Indianapolis. She is currently attending Indiana University where she will be receiving her bachelor's degree in theatre in the fall. Adrianne is one of the founders and co-presidents of Indiana University’s Black Brown & Beige Theatre Troupe. She was also a co-host for the Bloomington Poetry Slam.

On this edition of the Poets Weave, Adrianne reads "The Danger of My Kin," "The Color Purple," "Freeze Frame," and "The Beekeeper."

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About The Poets Weave