Spring 2001



By Laurie Ramey (con't) With selected poems


Christian A. Campbell


There is a raging
peace to an island
flat and empty.
A peace that once
drove Columbus to kneel,
but his rites were wrong
and San Salvador's misnamed
for it was not Christ's peace
that brought him down
to the grain of things,
but Atabeyra's,
a peace too wide,
too full for
Catholic cries,
crimes of claim.

Christian A. Campbell, a Bahamian-Trinidadian, was born and raised in the Bahamas. He is a doctoral student of English at Duke University. His poetry has appeared in The Caribbean Writer and Atlanta Review as well as other journals and anthologies. He is a member of the Carolina African-American Writers' Collective and a founding member of Four-Bean Stew, a poetry quartet.


L Teresa Church


Let's not even go there,
with your attitude casing me.

"Hell, I can't help it
if she wanted to be
a little Cinderella
and didn't nobody tella'
that the prize pumpkin
went for thanksgiving pie
and all the mice had to die
'cause we put down DeCon
to hold onto the 'hood."

When the clock strikes
Miss Thang,
you ain't got nothing to lose
but your walked-over shoes
standing at the bedside.

when morning comes,
you best rise, light your skyline
like the rest of us...

I, too, must listen to the man
blowing that same old music
at the other end of the whistle,
but his notes
can't rhythm
MY blues.

L. Teresa Church, a member of the Carolina African American Writers' Collective, is a Durham-based playwright, freelance writer, arts consultant, quiltmaker, poet and library professional. She
holds degrees in English and English/Creative Writing from Radford University and Brown University, respectively. In 1998, Ms. Church earned a Master of Science degree in Library Science at UNC-
Chapel Hill where she is employed as an archivist.

candice m jenkins


every one of us
sees beauty rising from you like
steam rising from hot pavement in the rain.
we each inhale you
chronically, like smoke, and afterwards
you leave us all as spent as junkies,
barely breathing but
consumed by hunger for another,
deeper taste.

Candice M. Jenkins, a writer of poetry and fiction, has been published in Cymbals, Red Clay, Stanford Black Arts Quarterly and Catch the Fire: A Cross-Generational Anthology of Contemporary African-American Poetry. Ms. Jenkins graduated from Spelman College in 1996 and is currently a doctoral candidate in English at Duke University.


Lenard D. Moore


We could be song,
feet drumming sidewalk,
slapping surface -
strides in unison,
beating cadence
as if in parade.
Our voices explode
like spray paint,
blow texture
on night's canvas,
on shadowless wind.

Lenard D. Moore, founder and executive director of CAAWC, is the author of one full-length collection of poems, FOREVER HOME, nominated for the American Book Award. He has also published poems and essays in Callaloo, BMa, Review, Drumvoices Revue, Agni, African American Review, Colorado Review, and other magazines. His poetry has appeared in over thirty antholgies. He teaches English and Poetry at North Carolina State University.


mendi lewis obadike


The (textbook) stated quite explicitly that if your emergency room patient was a black woman, medical personnel could expect her to be overweight, wearing a wig...screaming, and hysterical beyond a "reasonable" measure of her pain and discomfort" - Karla FC Holloway

I believe in rods and cones, but i have known
each time this sin covered me: your eyes, illiterate

on my skin, i believe in microscopes, white coats.
i have known your hands to heal, but for me

it is the blowing box, a forcefield, obscuring, i believe
in distance and shade. i have known the screen

to shield me from a wounded, worthless trust. i hold
my hands up to it, now, your pixelated face.

go on, heal me. i know you can do it.
i believe in you. just don't look.

*from Codes of Conduct: Race, Ethics and the Color of Our Character

Mendi Lewis Obadike has written for audio, film, and performance. Her poetry has been published in Catch the Fire: A Cross-Generational Anthology of Contemporary African-American Poetry, Say Amen, Black Arts Quarterly, The Zami Newsletter, and Amethyst and is featured in the film Take These Chains as narration. She is a member of the Carolina African American Writers' Collective. A graduate of Spelman College, she is a doctoral student in the Graduate Program in Literature at Duke


Evie Shockley


woman clothed in red, black and gold gives you nothing
dipped in paint: oval coals for eyes,
lids heavy with purple shadow: reaching out to the air
swirling between passers-by with
long fingers that quit in stubby nails the color of fresh
bruises: doesn't touch you, and isn't
touched by how you bear your wife's serrated complaints
or the way your money becomes pocket-
lint and business cards, like the one she thrusts at you:
"tanzine" emblazoned in orange:
target marketing: she draws you out of the eddying
current washing along the sidewalk,
entices you into her estuary: lips like blood or beaujolais,
reddish palm-sized stains for cheeks,
scarves ghosting her shoulders: for a small fee she turns
tarot cards for you on a little table
sheathed in a fringed white cloth anchored with a squat
violet candle that's melting sullenly
toward her whispered words: leaning over the deck, shoe-
polish black hair swinging hypnotically
just above the flame, she deals you a hand of good omens:
even the hanged man means you no
harm: your future, bright, burning out with the candle,
drowning in its own wet heat.

Evie Shockley is a Ph.D. candidate in the English department at Duke University. She writes poetry and short fiction. Evie's work has been published in such journals as Black Arts Quarterly, Blue Mesa Review, and The North American Review, and is anthologized in Catch the Fire: A Cross-Generational Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, and Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction From The African Diaspora. Evie is a Cave Canem fellow and a member of the Carolina African American Writers' Collective.



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