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Writer Mahogany L. Browne Shares A New Poem In Honor Of World Poetry Day

by Elle McKenzie

Photo: Mahogany L. Browne

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Allow us for a moment to reflect on the importance of poetry in this ever-changing, fast-paced world we live in. To quote the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), "poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings." Through this unique and invaluable source of expression, we are able to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.

To ensure we all receive our dose of introspective musings, writer and curator, Mahogany L. Browne, will lend her words of artistry each month for us all to absorb. "Since jazz is an open form with certain properties — progression, improvisation, mimicry, etc.," Browne revealed. "I decided that likewise, the jazz sonnet would be as open as possible, adhering only to the loosely followed dictate number of lines. I decided on 14 to 16 and to not exceed that, but to go absolutely bonkers within that constraint. I also give the sonnets a jazzified rhythm structure, akin to platter patter and/or scat and tones like certain Beat writers such as Kerouac, Kaufman and Perkoff. I decided to have fun to — blow my soul."

Today, in honor of World Poetry Day, please enjoy the following sonnet from the talented poet, Mahogany L. Browne.

Photo: Mahogany L. Browne

Pelican by Mahogany L. Browne

She quit every job she owned on a Friday

Left the shabby chairs and floor to squeal farewell

She’s never been the kind to exit in a sentimental way

A poet, an exposed bone, a girl too fragile, a shaken empty well

To be a forgotten song in the throat of a corpse

To be a washed up basin on the edge of an ocean’s mouth

She crawls towards the sea, towards the sun for a morsel

She lives off the sandcastles blown away, a flimsy house

She wants riches of mangoes and dumplings pinched by brown hands

She wants what her hands can’t carry, she want what she should not know exists

Sweet bread from her mother’s kitchen and green crops from good land

The pelican, intersection of death, beak w i d e with its flushed pink stomach persists

Don’t ask her what she does not know, don’t ask her about marriage or honor

Ask her of the children buried, after a sweet medicine wrecked her insides into order


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