AUTOGRAPHED PRE-ORDER "WE GOT A LOT TO BE MAD ABOUT" by ZARIA
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I asked Zaria to write this foreward to her second book because the publication of this book is the culmination of a lifelong dream for me. Since the first time I ever held a book - a baby Belle who got into books the way other kids get into snacks, I've loved to make them. Telling stories - and helping others to tell their stories is my deepest passion. It is "self care" for both the writer and the reader. I love ideas, and I understand very early on something my dad called "the power of the written word." My father was a holocaust survivor and it was from him that I learned the power of telling a story. Stories and words can change the world.
To see this book come into existence, the process of meeting Zaria, of becoming deeply obsessed with her truly singular way with words. I'm known for my way of describing hard to describe things, so let me attempt here to do the impossible - to describe how it feels to read Zaria's poetry.
To read Zaria's poems is to peel back the skin of an orange to discover the most perfect, sweet, ripe fruit inside. The words are modeled beautifully, a Fibonacci ribbon of sound and appearance on the page that reminds me nothing so much as the perfect latticework of lace - the fuzzy skin that protects and sections each juicy little tendril. For that's what the ideas in her poems are - the sweetest juice, a perfectly ripe orange, nature's illuminating elixir of vitamin C. Each one in it's own gorgeous little pouch, perfectly lilting, somehow both symmetrical and Avant-Garde. There is the bite of the sour there - isn't there always? Even in the most beautiful moment, there is that unmistakable taste of ghosts and oppressive systems. Here is the bitterness when the peels of the rind somehow cling to the perfect, sweet fruit. But the sweetness makes it bearable, irresistible. Toni Cade Bambara, a 1960s Civil Rights activist to whom a thorough research session would not be amiss, said the following:
"It is the job of the artist to make the revolution irresistible."
Thank you for letting me be your sister in arms, to fulfill a lifelong dream to publish a book. I am overwhelmed by how proud my father would be of me. I will forever be grateful that you let me help in some small way, to bring into the world this fruit which I believe it so badly needs to quench its thirst. I learned during chemotherapy for my breast cancer at the age of 28 that you need to get 40% of your hydration from food. So do I believe you need to get your social justice AND your self-care from poetry? Now more than ever when it's hard to escape the confines of your own brain, thank you for choosing the path of self-care to keep the fight strong and for joining us in stepping into the world of abundance that comes from opening your heart and mind and of course, the pages of the book.
I hope this book inspires your own book of poetry - who knows maybe someday I'll publish it here!