martina pronounces her own name (ode to June Jordan) – The Feminist Wire

martina pronounces her own name (ode to June Jordan)

By Martina “Mick” Powell

for June Jordan

this is how i learn it:

her black and in cropped cut and singsong

her in a summer water, the florida of it all


her in a black that made muscle

out of these gums, in a black that wrestled

the apology out of this sorry


her black and igniting my hot desire

for direction & connection,

her lighting the moon in its coyness


her black fists full of flowers—

chrysanthemum blooming

godetias beautiful blossoming


her black and woman and carrying

the quiet eucalyptus and poetry

that breaks open in my mouth


that self-destructs for revival and 

pretty shit aside, her in black and all june and light

in all quiet and present, whispering, screaming:


now you know how to pronounce your own name,

love the sound & the soft it makes in your chest

give it some continent, give it back its black,

its righteousness, you are a striking

righteousness—not the empty

beauty or lack of luster

(unless you wanna be)

unless you wanna be,

you are not unlovable

you are not filthy

not spiteful

not unkind

not selfish

not selfish

not evil







wrong is not your name

IMG_4954Martina “Mick” Powell is a queer black feminist poet who uses she/her pronouns and likes revolutionary acts of resistance. She is a recent graduate from the University of Connecticut where she obtained a B.A. in Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and Africana Studies and a concentration in Creative Writing. Mick loves performance poetry, magnolia trees, hip hop music, and tea. She is one of the Associate Editors of the Emerging Feminisms section at The Feminist Wire.