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Wanda Coleman

  • Oh, Mama, when I lose you I'll lose my only true witness!

    • Wanda Coleman,
    • "Dear Mama: Words Having Failed," in Constance Warloe, ed., I've Always Meant to Tell You ()
  • Sleep deficit and an anemic pocketbook dictate my erratic lifestyle.

    • Wanda Coleman,
    • "Dear Mama: Words Having Failed," in Constance Warloe, ed., I've Always Meant to Tell You ()
  • the fault dear fellow blacks / is not in our astrology charts / but in our society / that we are run under.

    • Wanda Coleman,
    • "In Search of the Mythology of Do Wah Wah," Imagoes ()
  • I almost shot you back there, you know that? when are / you people gonna learn, huh? you talk too much, that / makes me damn mad when you talk too much. i was ready / to put lead into your brain, you know that? shit makes / me damn mad, rather take you to the morgue.

    • Wanda Coleman,
    • "Under Arrest," Imagoes ()
  • listen, the blast is coming / a wingless dove / sent round the world / by endless greed.

    • Wanda Coleman,
    • "Ground Zero," Imagoes ()
  • little thing is brought in / nourishes from my breasts / i smile / i hold him / i know what tomorrow / is all about.

    • Wanda Coleman,
    • "Sweet Mama Wanda Tells Fortunes for a Price," Imagoes ()
  • there be a devil in the house / it steal money and put it in the vein / it come tip-toe thru the door / i hear him try to catch him / but he too slick / locks don't keep him out ...

    • Wanda Coleman,
    • "Stephen's Monkey," Imagoes ()
  • take one tiger / remove from jungle / file down teeth and claws / zoo / tranquilize, feed, observe / for indeterminate period of time / when finished / return to jungle.

    • Wanda Coleman,
    • "Rehabilitation," Imagoes ()
  • i've repeated my never spent agony / ... / so i'm writing it again / one more time in black and white with hope that / someone out there will at last / get it straight.

    • Wanda Coleman,
    • "I've Written This Poem Before," Imagoes ()
  • a man makes the clothes / ... / no matter what she does / a man never has to hit a woman / drinking and smoking aren't / necessarily manly things to / do ... / it takes courage to outwit danger / luck to outwit nature / few woman speak the language of men.

    • Wanda Coleman,
    • "By Watchin' Daddy I Learn About Men & Stuff," Bathwater Wine ()
  • the assistant librarian was an old white woman / with wattles hanging to her brittle neck ... / her gray eyes policed me thru the stacks like dobermans / she watched me come and go, take books and bring books / she monitored the titles and after a while decided / she'd misjudged her little colored girl ...

    • Wanda Coleman,
    • "Chapter 2 of the Story," Bathwater Wine ()
  • life was a spiral staircase on which / we stumbled up and down simultaneously ...

    • Wanda Coleman,
    • "Song of One," Bathwater Wine ()
  • usta be young usta be gifted — still black.

    • Wanda Coleman,
    • "35," Bathwater Wine ()
  • you suffer calculated amnesia, you / forget those who remind you of what you really are.

    • Wanda Coleman,
    • "I Died With the First Blow & Was Reborn Wrong," Bathwater Wine ()

Wanda Coleman, U.S. poet

(1946 - 2013)