Stone Soup Servings is a regular series for Oddball Magazine that features upcoming performers at Stone Soup Poetry, the long-running spoken word venue in the Boston area that has recently partnered with Oddball Magazine. Stone Soup Poetry meets from 8-10 p.m. every Monday at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery at 106 Prospect Street with an open mike sign-up at 7:30 p.m.
This Monday on June 9, we welcome the poet Alice Weiss as the feature poet, who for today gives us a poem that reflects both her style of poetry and her past as an activist.
To Robert, Crowley, Louisiana
Here, I see men tying on towels,
I see underwear stamped
Acadia Parish Jail hung
over the cross bars, and benches bolted,
bolted to a metal table.
Beside you, an albino man, standing,
nappy haired, pink, known, you told me once,
to the bars for his long black binges,
to the Crowley doctor for his scarred
and plastered liver.
you shrugged—Boy like that. not easy.
What’s easy for you?
—ten robberies. You’re on tape.
They’ll put you inside for life—
You won’t pick cotton, you say.
Your cousin, Durang, writes letters
for the other inmates Habeas Corpus petitions.
He’s told the warden you’re coming.
Like a man at a bar,
you ask if I’m married. Free?
Your face holds me
across the hard table.
I laugh, I’m soft, like a child.
I wouldn’t tell a man even at a bar
his eyes are beautiful.
You bark at an inmate sitting near us to cover
his junk, unfold and smooth a piece
of lined paper. You point to
the dates of the beatings,
rat sightings, no breakfast,
you’ve listed with a short yellow
carpenter’s pencil, the one you keep
poked in your afro
as if when the sun
up and left, you had saved us
a spot to remember it by.