The subject, once again, of the Other

“… Some days, I feel my duty;
Some days, I love my work.” ~ Cornelius Eady

Today it is duty and work.
Today it is having to explain
why it is not ok to take
language or a story that isn’t yours
to begin with, and repurpose it
into something else under another label
which then makes it seem acceptable
under the rules of so-called creative
engagement. It cannot be called
collaboration if the other party
is not privy to what has been done.
It does not bear the spirit
of collaboration if the new
thing created by redaction turns
upon the original to make it seem
a false representation of itself.
And so today it is both duty and work,
because though I too love the work I do
I feel the obligation to attest
to lived truths that precede language
or the poem or any belief
that observation is simply a matter
of what you saw
Even if I spoke or wrote and revised
all day, history is almost always
the narrative of harm
that has already been done
to others like me.

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