The songs of gentrification and capitalism and ghosts and loss

This is a poem I’ve been working on for a couple of months. It names a number of Asheville, N.C.-based landmarks, characters, and artists, but my hope is there’s something of the universal. So many of us are witnessing the loss of our communities to the juggernaut of development and wealth, neither of which ever do much to forward the arts or the creative culture.

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The Merle performing at Vincent’s Ear.

THE GHOST OF GAVRA LYNN

The man took the temperature
of this neighborhood and decided
in his boardroom that, yes, it’s time
to capitalize on what the artists

built. The ambiance of ingenuity mined
from the rubble. Construct a hotel
to tower over the coffee shops and dive
bars, over the thrift stores and book stores, over Continue reading

WOLF’S CLOTHING

wolf's clothing

Image from Pinterest. No artist attributed.

It’s been a terrible week of world news. Terrorist attacks on a mosque in New Zealand, Israel launching air strikes at Palestinians in Gaza, a plane crash, refugees denied asylum at the U.S. border. I feel the heaviness and also I know I’m okay. I’m infinitely blessed and comfortable. I know this, but it doesn’t make me happy in light of the greater global sorrows. This poem, I hope, speaks to that. It’s personal. It’s a microchosm. But it’s also about the larger collective effort of rising and staking claim.

 

LAMBING SEASON

What do I know of triumph, anyway? I
spent the summer sweating in
an oversized sweatshirt to hide
the shame of my traitorous torso
when I should have flown
my name like a banner, like a kite — not
a child’s toy, but a bird of prey. This Continue reading