Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT October 11th 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session!

For this session we close read “Manhattan is a Lenape Word” by Natalie Diaz, posted below.

Our prompt for this session was: “Write about where you are.”

More details on this session will be posted, so check back!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Wednesday October 13th at 1pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

“Manhattan is a Lenape Word” by Natalie Diaz

It is December and we must be brave.

The ambulance’s rose of light
blooming against the window.
Its single siren-cry: Help me.
A silk-red shadow unbolting like water
through the orchard of her thigh.

Her, come—in the green night, a lion.
I sleep her bees with my mouth of smoke,
dip honey with my hands stung sweet
on the darksome hive.
Out of the eater I eat. Meaning,
She is mine, colony.

The things I know aren’t easy:
I’m the only Native American
on the 8th floor of this hotel or any,
looking out any window
of a turn-of-the-century building
in Manhattan.

Manhattan is a Lenape word.
Even a watch must be wound.
How can a century or a heart turn
if nobody asks, Where have all
the natives gone?

If you are where you are, then where
are those who are not here? Not here.
Which is why in this city I have
many lovers. All my loves
are reparations loves.

What is loneliness if not unimaginable
light and measured in lumens—
an electric bill which must be paid,
a taxi cab floating across three lanes
with its lamp lit, gold in wanting.
At 2 a.m. everyone in New York City
is empty and asking for someone.

Again, the siren’s same wide note:
Help me. Meaning, I have a gift
and it is my body, made two-handed
of gods and bronze.

She says, You make me feel
like lightning. I say, I don’t ever
want to make you feel that white.
It’s too late—I can’t stop seeing
her bones. I’m counting the carpals,
metacarpals of her hand inside me.

One bone, the lunate bone, is named
for its crescent outline. Lunatus. Luna.
Some nights she rises like that in me,
like trouble—a slow luminous flux.

The streetlamp beckons the lonely
coyote wandering West 29th Street
by offering its long wrist of light.
The coyote answers by lifting its head
and crying stars.

Somewhere far from New York City,
an American drone finds then loves
a body—the radiant nectar it seeks
through great darkness—makes
a candle-hour of it, and burns
gently along it, like American touch,
an unbearable heat.

The siren song returns in me,
I sing it across her throat: Am I
what I love? Is this the glittering world
I’ve been begging for?

From Postcolonial Love Poem (Graywolf Press, 2020) by Natalie Diaz. 
Copyright © 2020 by Natalie Diaz.

5 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT October 11th 2021

  1. Write about where you are~~~

    I am clothed in the darkness.
    Grey clouds sink low to the ground,
    wrapping their arms about me.
    The air is heavy
    as it lays upon the last blooms of the season.

    Peering up to the heavens,
    I see the immensity of existence… the smallness of me.
    Thoughts crowd the mind,
    searching for answers to questions,
    answers just beyond my reach.

    The earth is hushed,
    the blaring sirens of the day have dissolved into the darkness.
    Sitting beneath a towering, old oak tree
    I watch its leaves flutter to the ground,
    bidding farewell to a season of service.

    In the silence,
    I am at peace,
    one with the earth that caresses me.


  2. ReeyaSV

    Today was a beautiful opportunity to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day through meaningful writing and deep discussions. Because I found myself lost in thought several times during the session, here is a short piece in response to the prompt.

    The ship that qualms the waves
    Whose water faster than mine?
    The dichotomy of hot and cold: direction, sense, color
    Finally, a vision to be something greater
    Endless ride rushes at the end of the tunnel
    Upon contact with our feet


  3. al3793

    I am on the cusp of somethings new. It is something that has been trying to nestle its way into my consciousness and my meeting with my boss who I trained twenty-plus years ago reminded me that forty-two years of medical work, no a healer’s work, attending to others wounds and my own are drawing closer to a close.
    But something new is in the offing and I am confident I won’t be disappointed…
    I have much more to say and sing.


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