Your silence will not protect you.

Silence-Audre-Lorde-Button-(0348)

I’ve been reading a great deal of Audre Lorde for my work over at Ploughshares. Like Adrienne Rich (whose quote serves as the tagline for Louder Please), she’s a model for placing art in the service of socio-cultural improvement.

When I read her work, it’s like a voice at the back of me:

say it. say it. say it. 

Lately,  my saying has been in the form of songs, pshares blogs, and applications for god knows what activities, all of which could push forward the issues and research I care about. I feel as if I’ve got a hand in everything, prodding the flesh of possible stories. Meanwhile, I find something like refuge in Lorde and Rich, for their emphases on voice, on word, on pressing the damned world into syntax. Not for the purpose of condensing or constraining what can’t be accommodated by language, but for the purpose of the pressing. For the very sensation of limitation.

And dear god, to do what I can. “To roll the thunder of the voice out from the ribs and throat, / To make the people rage, weep, hate, desire with” myself.

“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”

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