What Are You Going To Wear?

Stop what you’re doing right now & read “Civil Rights Cold Case #62 (Or The Yellow Dress” by Lolita Stewart-White.

Your favorite yellow dress is what you wore the night
before you died. The one with the hand-stitched,
blood-red roses, passed on to you by Miss Cora Lee…

After you read that brilliant poem, I would suggest you follow it up with two brilliant essays. The first of which is “Going Cyborg” by poet Jillian Weise.

On my birthday a few years ago, I taught class, called the guy I was sleeping with and then became a cyborg. I didn’t know I was becoming a cyborg. I thought I was just getting a new leg. I’ve had 12 artificial legs in my life. The prosthetist said this leg would think 1,000 times per second about the ground. My parents said if I wanted the new leg, I better act fast. I was being released from their insurance. The guy I was sleeping with, Henry, said the new leg sounded hot, like something out of “Blade Runner.” But I had never seen “Blade Runner.”

The second essay is “Listen” by Ada Limon.

Sometime around 2AM in the canyon dark, no moon, the house wailed open with a guttural yell that shook me awake on the couch. In an instant I knew what it was, that painful loud bellow that echoes around the quiet night like a siren long after the fire’s gone out. For years, this is how my stepfather, B, awakes from a bad dream. A violent yell that makes my heart beat so fast that I can’t sleep for hours afterwards. When I was a kid, I remember him coming into my room to make sure I knew he was okay. “It was just a dream,” he would tell me, “go back to sleep.” He never talked about the nightmares, but we knew what they were about.

And if you love creative nonfiction as much as I do, might I suggest you read Zeitoun by Dave Eggers?

Okay. Talk to you later.

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4 responses to “What Are You Going To Wear?

  1. thanks for recommending reading. i appreciate the thought and time that goes into such suggestions.
    i’m new to your blog, and i’m finding it delightful.

  2. Shamed to say, this is my first time looking at your blog, but glad I finally did. I appreciate your taste in literature and will be paying more attention in the future. Keep doing what you do!

  3. First, I *love* that photo. It reminds me of the jellyfish I’d pass over on my morning on-foot commute across Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

    I’m glad you recommended Cold Case #62. I’ve posted it on my Facebook for others to see as a means of celebrating Black History Month.

    Already intrigued with the teasers for the essays and will read them tonight.

  4. I read Jillian Wiese’s first book of poems “An Amputee’s Guide to Sex” which is terrific, looking forward to these essays!

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