the big chop

PHOTO: ZAKKIYYAH NAJEEBAH

PHOTO: ZAKKIYYAH NAJEEBAH

By Jamila Woods


i cut off my perm & out grew the kitchen
 
i cut off my kitchen & out grew floorboards
 
i cut off floorboards & out crawled spiders
 
i cut off spiders & out grew balls of cotton
 
i cut off cotton & out grew slaves
 
i cut off slaves & out grew cat o’ nine tails
 
i cut off the cat & out grew claws
 
i cut off the claws & out grew corkscrews
 
i cut off corkscrews & out grew grapevines
 
i cut off grapevines & heard Marvin sing
 
i cut off Marvin & listened to my grass grow
 
i cut the grass & weeds grew in
 
i cut out weeds & the neighbors
 
smiled, asked: could they touch
 
the blades?

You may hear Jamila Woods share this poetry on Tuesday, April 21st at the Museum of Contemporary Art Live for Ekphest: A Festival of At + Word from 6-7 pm. More information here.

PHOTO: Jovan Julien

PHOTO: Jovan Julien


Jamila Woods is a poet, singer, and teaching artist from Chicago, IL. She the Associate Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors and a founding member of YCA’s Teaching Artist Corps. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poetry has been published by Poetry Magazine, MUZZLE, and Third World Press. Her first chapbook entitled The Truth About Dolls was released in 2012 by New School Poetics Press. Jamila is also a member of the Dark Noise Collective of poets & educators of color, is the front-woman of soul-duo band M&O, and is featured on the Social Experiment's forthcoming project Surf.