the louderARTS Project

Evie Shockley

Evie Shockley has published two collections of poems: a half-red sea (2006) and The Gorgon Goddess (2001), both with Carolina Wren Press. Her work has appeared widely in journals and anthologies, including Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Brilliant Corners, Callaloo, Hambone, HOW2, Poetry Daily, Rainbow Darkness, nocturnes (re)view, and Talisman. She is a Cave Canem fellow (1997-99) and an assistant professor of English at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.




you can say that again, billie

southern women serve strife     keep lines of pride open
trees are not taller than these broad vessels     femmes who
bear fully armored knights      clinking from the womb      but
a night in whining ardor      means black woman compelled      how
strange      brown vassal on a bed of green needles      ingests the
fruit of georgia      let that gestate      but be-gets no child of the south

blood tells the story      do you salute old gory      were you born
on a white horse or a black ass      everything depends upon
the way your rusty lifeflow writes      sutpenmanship      if it
leaves blond scribbled across your scalp      hurray
and blue inscribed in your eyes     praise the cause      your literary
blood wins the gene pool      its a prize      hide your mama      baby
at worst you’re a breast-seller      compelling octorune      but
the best cellars are dark and earthy      humid places where fears take
root      and grow up to be cowboys      yee-haw



© Evie Shockley



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