7TH ISSUE POETIC ISSUE

What I Write About

Q. Javon Overton

I write about love, the way it can twist in you into knots or lay you down smooth and fulfilling. I write about knowing I will be touched, and my world will be whole. I write about the people I have known and the impact we had on each other’s lives. I write about America, and the broken promise it made to all of us, black and white. I write about White America and how they do not understand the impact of slavery. I write about Black America, how we hide behind our pain until it explodes on one of our own. How we want to love each other, but our fear changes the way the words come out because we are guarding our hearts and the frail hopes we have. 
I write about the generations of my people walked in chains, straining to find freedom, and when we walked through the door, the reward has been PTSD. I write about loving our children and giving them the knowledge they need to succeed in a world that says it does not see color, except black. If the world does not see color, why do the bullets continue to pierce our skin? I write about the voices telling me I must not stop speaking about the promise of equality, peace, happiness, and rainbows at the end of rainy days. I write with passion using the words I seek to give people pause so they might look in the mirror my words create. I write about the hope of people seeing themselves in my words, so they might be inspired to rise. I write about life as I see it, as it was told to me by my mother, by my grandparents and anyone else who helped build the picture that I work so hard to put into words. I write about friends who do not understand the pain they inflict when they say they don’t consider me Black because of the way I speak. How does anyone take a scalpel and incise you away from your people and not understand you are hurt? Why do some of my people treat me as if I do not belong because of the way I speak? In those moments, I feel as if I have been working in the big house serving coffee all my life. I write about the birth of my children and how my purpose was reborn the moment we cried together at their delivery. I sometimes write about the wishes I never made, dreams I dared not speak knowing building a fantasy would not save my soul. I write about love and how it can leave you wounded on your bedroom floor left alone, crying for someone who will never return, whether, by choice or accident, they are gone. I write about shackles and whips that left me raw, blood oozing in the dirt, praying the Earth would swallow my broken body whole. I write about spirituals that left me trembling after a powerful sermon about treating every man as my brother. Then I write about the cruise to America, and how the knowledge of my ancestors stopped.


Q. Javon Overton has been writing for forty-five years. He writes poetry, short stories and novels. He was in the I.T. field for over thirty-five years. He currently lives in Stuart, Florida with his wife and son. He enjoys photography, cooking, and ready.

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