by Melisa "Misha" Cahnmann-Taylor
–er or White Flight Justification Song
moreover bigger or oversizer, formerly earnest earner,
under arrest him ate him, e-race him, tear-er asunder commuter,
all burrs and tsk-tsk-ers, ergonomic errors in words, perverse
universes of his-es and hers-es, funeral service's hesitant
compute or pardon me sir, er, murmurs preceding er, Mister?
used in place of a name we name or rename, a game of er not:
poorer, browner, blacker marker of either/or er? burned
by your-er voracious more-ers, not veracous turners
to universes of verses to aver, to declare spring, rooting
for truths, veracity digger to ver, Spanish infinitive "to see"
as in see, er, what I mean?
Eight a.m., January 20, 2017, Arlington, Virginia
Gauzy curtain, through transom glass,
mailboxes on crotchety legs,
curbed, trash-can rule breakers,
burdened electric wire sag,
persistent squirrel squeak curbed
beneath gauzy branches, white-breasted
nuthatches squalk, din about dim,
misplaced spring, orange
cloud-gashes, a blaring bandstand day, tumbled
like pebbles of grief-stricken sky.
Melisa "Misha" Cahnmann-Taylor is the author of Imperfect Tense (White Point Press, 2016), and and co-author of three books, Teachers Act Up: Creating Multicultural Learning Communities Through Theatre (Teachers College Press, 2010) and Arts-Based Research in Education (Routledge, 2008; 2017). She is poetry editor for Anthropology & Humanism and judges the journal’s annual ethnographic poetry competition. Cahnmann-Taylor is Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia. Winner of the NEA “Big Read” Grants (Robinson Jeffers, 2015; Edgar Allan Poe, 2016; Yu Hua, 2017), she posts events and updates at her blog: teachersactup.com.