Black & Kinky Amongst Brown Waves

Have you heard of the USDAC?
March 28, 2015, 4:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Have you heard of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture?

“The [USDAC]  is not a federally recognized agency, but an act of collective imagination fueled by all who believe that art and culture are among our most powerful and under-tapped resources for creating a more just, equitable, and vibrant world.” More on the USDAC can be found here

At the end of February, I had the honor of creating a poem for an event hosted by the DC Field Office of the USDAC entitled “What is a Citizen Artist? A Creative Town Hall”.

Learn more about the USDAC in your area and enjoy my poem below.  What do the words “Citizen Artist” evoke for you?


citizen artist
© 2015 by margaux delott-bennett

the words dripping out of my pen
will pad the concrete
under their marching feet

my rond de jambe and pas de burree will
stop today’s shelter closing
at least until after hypothermia season

my paint brush is dipped in blood and tears
excrement and vomit
because that is all that is left after the genocide

my art bears witness
so that their humanity will not be forgotten
so that my humanity
will not have the audacity to be quiet
in a time screaming for
anything better than this

my art pisses off the status quo
forces my small voice
to claim more space
in this room

lodging itself in your fiber optics
and your teeth
unable to grin and bear it
when reflecting the sorry state of affairs
right here

splashes of beautifully ugly truths
looming above our heads
on that building’s façade
down that reclaimed alleyway

I mold the movement with these hands
dank clay a composite of limbs and bellies
the fleshiest parts of lips
I and I and I into we
because only so much can be moved by me
but collectively we can make change
and demand accountability

refashioning this nation state
into the other world that is possible
and probable
and within our hungry grasp

democracy demands my participation
I get back what I put in
I need to know what is mine to do

and so I make things of beauty
not to avoid the struggle and strife
but in order to render them


“The job of the writer is to make revolution irresistible.” – Toni Cade Bambara



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