ISSUE 53KCAI Exhibition #3 // Curated by Jordan Stempleman
When My Therapist Asked What I Loved Most About My My Mother, I Said
One ambition of my poetry is to celebrate my family and my Southern, Black Church traditions. I have several poems honoring my father, but I needed to honor my mother as well—a Proverbs 31 woman, the spiritual anchor for a husband and three children. Additionally, “When My Therapist Asked What I Loved Most About My Mother, I Said” is influenced by the concepts of inheritance, collective consciousness, and collective memory. Songs, poetry, art all contribute to the formation of these reservoirs of shared human history. Recently, scientists discovered that trauma can be passed down genetically. I reason, that if trauma can be biologically inherited so can our running toward freedom. Video was shot in St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Kansas City, MO by Oz Overshiner.
Born in Louisville, Mississippi, Jermaine Thompson learned language from big-armed women who greased their skillets with gossip and from full-bellied men who cursed and prayed with the same fervor. He’s been writing poetry since he was 13—inspired by having to memorize Langston Hughes’ “Harlem” for a Black History Program at his Presbyterian church home. Jermaine loves language for what it creates, what it destroys, what binds in heaven, and for what it looses on earth. Jermaine is an educator who has publications in The Pinch, Memorious, Whale Road Review, Southern Indiana Review, and New Letters.