Everything depends upon urban decay and Jacob Lawrence paintings reminding me of Breugel’s when to art was a journey—like Ginsberg searching for phytoplankton on the streets of New York, where Elise typed Kaddish writing poems in her spare time, when di Prima and Amiri had two babies while living on Phyllis Wheatley Boulevard where everything was coded like transferable elements of DNA. Frankly, there are few jobs in America for women who don’t know the colors of South Sudan’s flag or the meaning of sublimation or who can’t find their disorder in DSM-IV. My therapist treats clowns and mimes so I carried a sign that said #DoIMatter?, and she asked me Are you having a bad day? I said, No, but babies are the price you pay for having sex. She told me not to take life so seriously because it is better to minimize error than to seek Truth which I had heard before when my mother told me, Don’t get your hopes up; there’s only so far a colored girl can go.
Bio: Clara B. Jones is a retired scientist, currently practicing poetry in Asheville, NC [USA]. As a woman of color, Clara writes about the “performance” of identity and power and conducts research on experimental poetry. Her poems, reviews, essays, and interviews have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous venues. Her collection, Ferguson And Other Satirical Poems About Race, won the 2015 Bitchin’ Kitsch Chapbook Competition, and Autopsy, Clara’s chapbook of exploratory poems, was published in April 2016 by Gauss PDF. She studied with Adrienne Rich in the 1970s and is a member of the Asheville Women’s Poetry Collective.