Poems and Texts

“The pace of ferocity” by Patricia Spears Jones

“The pace of ferocity”

Night winds rush faces
Fabric or fur covers heads
Faces streaked with a ferocity of hatred.

Names called. Each one uglier
Names called. Each one mis
Pro Nounced. Mis represented

These world(s) live we in.
Feral howling the full wolf moon
Departing as grandly as the harvest moon
Arriving with harvest a deceptive harmony.

Oh this lingering heaviness, these amazing feats.
Feasts in memory-made last days—marks of woe

Death haunted man on side street,
Boy on sidewalk, young girl at door
Boy in a park. Boy in a park.
Marks of madness. Marks of woe.

Bearable a year of expected sadness
And then unexpected torments

Witness the un raveling of spirits
As the round earth spins.

Patricia Spears Jones

Patricia Spears Jones is an African American poet, editor, activist, literary curator and playwright. She is the winner of the 2017 Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets and Writers and author of A Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems (White Pine Press, 2015) which was finalist for both the PSA’s William Carlos Williams Prize and the Patterson Poetry Prize and featured a Pushcart Prize winning poem. She also has 10 additional publications: poetry books, chapbooks and anthologies. S She is co-editor of the groundbreaking anthology Ordinary Women: An Anthology of Poetry by New York City Women (1978) and editor of Think: Poems for Aretha Franklin’s Inauguration Hat (2009). In 2015, she edited The Future Differently Imagined, an issue of About Place Journal, an online literary publication of Black Earth Institute, where she is a Senior Fellow Emeritus. Mabou Mines commissioned and produced ‘Mother’ and Song for New York: What Women Do When Men Sit Knitting which premiered in New York City in collaboration with composers respectively, Carter Burwell and Lisa Gutkin. She has had residencies at Yaddo, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Millay Colony and most recently a Rauschenberg Residency in Captiva. She served as Program Coordinator at The Poetry Project in the 1980s. She has taught at the Poetry Project, Poets House, the Fine Arts Work Center, CUNY campuses and Adelphi University. She is the organizer for American Poets Congress.

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