They mean to act out of love

Lafayette Street (We Write Poems, We Make Worlds) ©MAIERMOUL
Lafayette Street (We Write Poems, We Make Worlds) ©MAIERMOUL

I have an interest in writing what I call “porch poems,” poems that make uses of Black and Southern vernacular in ways that push beyond what we think of as simple conversation.

If it is anything, a poem is an event. Anything else would be tantamount to scenery, and scenery ain’t poetry. When we write poems, we make worlds.  And in making those worlds,

We unmake the worlds that seek to erase or silence us.

That’s the significance of naming to me.

I do believe all tenderness intersects violence at some point.  Love is probably how we handle that point, how we choose to move through it.  I don’t think love is battle and war, but I’m sure it doesn’t always look like itself.  I’m certain that people often act out of fear when they mean to act out of love.

– Jericho Brown, interview with Kangsen Feka Wakai, Pushing the Vernacular, Folio journal at American University