This afternoon I recorded my set for East by Southeast, Austin, TX’ annual public access television poetry showcase. This year I chose to honor Marilyn with my performance. I read two poems by others that have appeared here, “Catch” by Alexis Pauline Gumbs, and “Red Poppy for Marilyn” by Jewelle Gomez. I read two of Marilyn’s poems, “Undocumented”, both in English as it appeared in Monthly Review and in Spanish (“Indocumentada”) as translated by Puerto Rico’s Claridad, and “To the Woman Standing Behind Me in Line Who AsksMe How Long This Black History Month Is Going to Last”, as seen in March 1998’s Sojourner. Finally, I read two of my own poems, “For Poets Who Die in Mid-Life”, dedicated to Marilyn and to other recently passed poets, including the inimitable poet-journalist John Ross, and “Egypt-Land”, previously seen in The Rag Blog, a celebration of the current freedom struggles in the MidEast that I would have loved to have shared with my sister-poet.
It felt great to remember Marilyn in this way and to share her poetry, and the poems of others who loved her, with a wide audience. The show, airing in May, will be shown many times during the coming year.