Poetry–Said Like a Holy Roller Preacher

2700px-Space_Needle_360_PanoramaMy sister once brought the house down when she performed this poem. I produced a spoken word multimedia performance that included around 20 of my poems. We called the production “Urbanite” and the performance took place at the Charlotte Martin Children’s Theater (Seattle) as part of the ArtsEdge Festival (1998). My sister read this poem as a rabid Baptist minister. She got a standing ovation.

The character in this poem came from an idea I had for a novel. She’s a former African-American prostitute from the southern US who relocates to LA and discovers Jesus. And she awaits the big earthquake.

Earthquake Blue

She has got the earthquake blues,

Preparedness down to a “T”

She has lined up her fancy shoes

Underneath her bed, just in case

The big event takes place.

 

She has got the earthquake blues,

She wants her shoes and clothes

To match when catastrophe arrives;

Wearing her best lingerie

When she meets her maker.

 

She has got the earthquake blues,

Down on her knees, shaking like a

Good Baptist and repenting

Like a Roman Catholic.

When the earth begins to shake,

She’ll be ready and waiting.

 

She has got the earthquake blues,

She cooks up a big breakfast and

Sets it out for the Lord,

All her best china set out among debris

That the fallen city left behind.

 

She has got the earthquake blues,

Tonight she dines with angels,

Wearing her red shoes and best lingerie

On this fine day.

 

 

By Patricia L. Herlevi

 

(Previously published in “Synapse” which went out of publication in the late 1990s). All Rights Reserved

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