Do you ever find yourself waking up with fragments of a dream lingering in your mind, only to have them slip away as the day progresses? For me, remembering my dreams has become a cherished practice, one that has not only enriched my personal introspection but has also birthed the title and essence of my poetry chapbook, "Thick Black Lines." In this blog post, I invite you to delve into the dreamy inspiration behind the book and explore the first section, "Thick," which captures the predominant themes of my experiences in Arizona.
In March 2020, a dream revealed to me the title of my poetry chapbook—Thick Black Lines. As I awoke, the vividness of the dream compelled me to reach for my phone and quickly type it into the notes section. Little did I know that this dream would set the tone for a poetic journey that would unfold in three distinct sections, each representing a word in the title.
The first section, "Thick," delves into the burdens we carry—those heavy emotions that shape our lives. Much of the inspiration for the poems in this section was drawn from my time on sabbatical in Arizona. From wandering through museums and parks in Phoenix to moments of reflection by a stream in a vortex in Sedona, and witnessing mountain sunsets in Scottsdale, Arizona provided an ideal backdrop for meditation and introspection.
During my time in Arizona, a visit to San Diego became a pivotal experience. A friend gathered a sister circle of seasoned Black women artists and writers who generously listened to the poems I had crafted for the book. Their feedback and guidance served as a compass, helping me navigate the uncharted territories of my own work. Through their wisdom, I was able to connect with my audience and recognize that "Thick Black Lines" would be an ode to the Black experience and a celebration of the resilience of Black people, particularly Black women.
As you journey through the "Thick" section of the chapbook, you'll accompany me through the depths of depression, the nuances of grief, and the complexities of familial relationships. Yet, within these heavy moments, you'll also find the resilience that surfaces, the power of forgiveness, and the enduring flame of hope.
Dreams have a way of revealing the untapped reservoirs of our creativity and emotions. For me, the dream that birthed "Thick Black Lines" opened a door to exploration and understanding. As you navigate through the "Thick" section of the chapbook, may you discover the richness that lies within the weighty lines, and perhaps, find echoes of your own dreams within the verses. Stay tuned as we continue this journey through the subsequent sections, exploring the nuances of "Black" and "Lines" in the upcoming posts.
Two of the poems featured in “Thick” were published in 2021 and 2022. “The Bough” was published in 2021 in Kitchen Table Quarterly Literary Magazine. “The Uncaged Bird” was published in 2022 in Black Minds Mag.