Poet-performer Jessica Care Moore’s “Love is Not the Enemy: Manifesto for 28”, Moore conveys a tough-minded resilience and a mature return to self in the face of disappointment. She isn’t sure what’s ahead of her, but there’s no doubt about how she’ll face it:
All my new boyfriends
are scheduled for 2009
No more lions in my bedroom
King is the most important thing in my life
I’m married to my art, my life, my work.
Grownups are over-rated.
My wonder woman cape never needs to be ironed, even in Detroit.
Skinny is the new thick.
Jessica worship required
(Insecure niggas need not apply)…
I have dream catchers for arms
We need to talk about mental illness in
The black community.
Am I crazy because I don’t expect my son to be forgotten
Just because it “happens all the time?”
My name is jessica Care moore
I’ve been a Simmons.
I’ve been a Poole.
(legally, still am today)
I will die a Moore.
Ain’t giving my name away no more.
Yeah, moore’s back. She’s evolved. She’s matured. She’s become a mentor, a mother, a publisher and a leader. Having come full circle from home out to the world and back again, she’s completed a sort of heroine’s journey that seems both inspiring and mythical.
In the title poem from her forthcoming book, Moore moves from the gritty rebellion of “Black Girl Juice” to a piercing kind of universal truth:
God is not an American
No, God is not an American.
But she could be a woman
That would explain why we have sugarcane,
Little red corvettes and chocolate.
And why she so graciously spared us an external sex organ
That would constantly get in the way of our brains
But maybe if women had penises
They wouldn’t know how to cook, or wash or fix or kiss or blend,
Or fold in all those special ingredients
that women bury inside the earth
And where do you think a woman would put her penis
During a time of war?
In the mouth of an intern?
Deep into their fathers history…
Pushing the same buttons
A decade later