A cento, sorta, taking some lines from news sources like the BBC and the New York Times, to honor the lives of the victims in Atlanta.
Say Their Names And Something Important About Them --a cento, sorta Hyun Jung Grant was playful and fun and had a young spirit, “I have the mind of a young teenager,” she said. Robert Aaron Long is a killer. Xiaojie Tan, who was an entrepreneur, was called “the sweetest, kindest, most giving person” by a customer. Her friends called her Emily. Robert Aaron Long is a racist. Daoyou Feng only recently started working for Xiaojie Tan. She was quiet and kind, and her life was cut short before we could know her better. Robert Aaron Long made that cut. Delaina Ashley Yaun was looking forward to a date with her husband, who survived the attack. She was the “most hard-working, most determined, most outspokenly good-hearted person.” Robert Aaron Long is a terrorist. Paul Andre Michels was one of nine siblings, a Catholic, and a veteran of the U.S. Army infantry. He was “a very hard working, loving man.” Robert Aaron Long is toxic Chrisitianity. Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz was a mechanic and recently married. His 10 year old daughter’s birthday is soon. He was shot. And survived. Robert Aaron Long attempted his murder. Suncha Kim was a grandmother who enjoyed line dancing in her spare time. She was long past the golden anniversary of her marriage. Robert Aaron Long is toxic masculinity. Soon Chung Park worked with Suncha. She had family in New York and New Jersey. She was so easy to get along with. Robert Aaron Long is a misogynist. Yong Ae Yue was a good mother and was always there for her two sons. She was generous and giving, even to her ex-sister-in-law. Robert Aaron Long took lives and liberty: a thief, a murderer, a stain. May he soon be forgotten, while we sing the memory of Hyun & Xiaojie & Daoyou Delaina & Paul & Elcias Suncha & Soon Chung & Yong Ae
©David Siller – 2021
For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.
#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.
If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021.
Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !