Staceyann Chin, B&W

She Read Twice (A Dedication to Staceyann Chin)

Jose Vilson Jose 1 Comment

Staceyann Chin, B&W

Staceyann Chin, B&W

Seven years ago, she spouts, “Jose, who has hoes?”
This firebrand of a woman
Who, when she walks, you can hear the susurrus of her
Wavy, wild, copperhead colored hair
Her patented tank top
Strings barely holding on to the bra of the boobs she’s so proud of
This wise woman makes me roll my eyes as she chants her newfound homonyms
She’s a verbal ventriloquist with a groove
Where at once she shakes shit up and puts shit in its place
She manages to leave me with an unnerving impression
Was it because she’s a fucking awesome performance or because she mangled my name
To the whole conference’s delight but
She’s invited to my campus now
She’s met me but twice
Tells me more about my life than I knew
I prepare to open up for her
She’s already opened me up surgically
With insights and incisions
Challenging that which I thought was potent writing
“Am I a womanist or a feminist?”
She asked the audience in a thick Jamaican accent
They all sit agape,
Stunned that she’d actually pose a question
she may want a response to
Or because the words pussy, bitch, and dick fly so fluidly from her lips
In such a proper education institution
“Get over yourselves,” she’s gotta ask,
She lets me and the other 500 people observing watch her own trial and jury
Extended her limbs in the shape of our abstracted version of a star
Simultaneously excavating into my soul as it related to my writing
Modeling for me what it means to put a pen to paper and leave it out there
Hmm
A calm sage eating a veggie wrap on our college street after another riveting show
A passerby in conversation with me a few years later
Not quite as popular but just as recognizable
A feature in a Ivy League college chapel a year later
Denouncing religions and revisits the idea of her independence
A bullet of a woman screeching so loud a year later
Her yells travel light years across our universe
A image flashing in my glass-covered boxes a few months after
Fluidity visible from my seat
A little girl staring back at me with crayon inscription two years later
Binded to a set of thoughts she’s elaborated on
From the lucid brave and packaged poems she’s recited for millions now
A presence every eyeball in the room has its gaze transfixed on a few months later
Every bit the torch every moth worth its wingspan floats
Remembers me still after seven years total
And even with the 10 or so words she’s said to me while leaving her personal prints
On her work,
She has the power to read twice
Read her work and read me, still
Reminding me why I write
And this time,
Left me with more than an impression
More than a few more dollars in debt from her books
Now she’s left me with a currency I’ll survive on
Until she leaves another impression on me again …

Jose, who considers the poetress one of his top 5 favorite writers of all time …

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

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