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Poetry

Summer 2018, I attended the University of Maryland's Terp Young Scholars Program and took ARHU298J: Creative Writing Workshop - Cross Cultural Perspectives in Poetry and Fiction taught by Jessica Hammack and Vivianne A. Salgado. I learned a lot, and wrote a lot, too. I also got to work on some old pieces I had written before starting the program. Some of the work from the summer workshop was published in the Fall 2018 issue of Reflections Art and Literary Magazine, a creative journal published by students at Prince George's Community College. Below are some of the pieces:

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 Untitled  By Khari Dawson 
 
I feel as if my black is like the night sky with it's infinite stars  and shaky breath, pulling at the pit of my stomach  and dipping my face in it's airless bucket of dark.  But my black isn't black at all.  It's white, the shade of milk with it's calcium and nutritional values. 
 
 
I'd rather drink my milk than  have a supernova collapse onto my skull and  whisper retched songs of  loss into my ears. 
 
 
I'd rather drink my milk than have the big  bang sputter into my eyes, letting the last thing  I see be planets orbiting around the star I have lost. 
 
 
I'd rather drink my milk than have to wear the sun as a t shirt with glazed orbs and trembly vocal cords, having eyes on me even when they shouldn't. 
 
 
I'll just drink my milk. 

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Thirteen Ways to Look at Race

By Khari Dawson

 

A file cabinet full of folders, thickened by important defining characteristics and many strenuous pros and cons lists.

 

Your nose.

 

A large elephant, reeking of tension and open field.

 

An old black and white silent film. Despite the silence, you know exactly what is going on.

 

A book that is uncomfortably naked, practically begging for an all-black book jacket.

 

Bangs not cut short enough on your forehead. 

 

The alphabet. Or, counting to ten in Spanish.

 

The smell of your house that is new every time you return from sleep away camp.

 

A brown dog that barks and grey dark that barks.

 

Suddenly feeling the hairs on your arms, like an insect is crawling about atop you.

 

Telling your friends “I’m okay” while you sit alone and sulk miserably. 

 

A roller coaster ride that is the same every time.

 

Smoke of a candle cascading through air.

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all is well  by Khari Dawson 
 
 
My uppercase and Lowercase letters  are all the same height and it comforts me to find that there is no hierarchy  amongst my words, like  there are in my world. 
 
I’d see others with uppercase A’s so  tall and written so thick  that they’d rake the top of the line confinements and fade into the back of the page, taking up more space than it ever
​ needed to. 
 
But maybe they were the A’s. Sinking into the other side of the page like they had to go, like I had to go.  
 
There are so many ways you can  write the letter A, but they all sound the same. 
 
 

Sharing My Poetry

Busboys & Poets

My mother insists on sharing this video which I could do without, but, it is, in fact, one of my first poems I've written. I was about 11 or 12 in this video and worked on this poem to tighten up some edges on it during the summer workshop at the University of Maryland that I mentioned above.