Sunday, July 29, 2007

Kouyomjian
for Charles & Susan

“No Place to be Somebody,”
I'm always able to recall, along with,
not Charles Gordone, but Susan Kouyomjian,
the playwright’s fiancée

white white white
with this black American playwright
as militant, as angry as Amiri Baraka

why was she with him? “I love elegant things,
especially elegant thought”

best answer ever gotten to a question

how come, we wanted to know,
was he with this white woman
contradicting his play, its message,

“She's black!” he said, end of story
he’d not be seen capitulating,
soft, sleeping with the enemy
nor his daughter, nor his wife

who was as white as milk,
Gordone, in an instant, made black,
made over, edited, revised,
like some part of his play

was that what he told whoever asked

defiant as a panther, as prepared to pounce
who in the Grand Bahama Players
rehearsing “No Place to be Somebody,”
with the author, dared cross him,

back talk him or them, comfortable,
joined in defiance, prepared to battle


© Obediah Michael Smith, 2007
3:20 a.m. 29/july/07/07

3 Comments:

Anonymous thl said...

Did you know them? You paint a vivid picture, and a telling one. I can see both of them in this even as I see what they were like from my own point of view.

Thursday, August 23, 2007 4:43:00 PM  
Blogger Obie Quiet said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Monday, August 27, 2007 3:22:00 AM  
Blogger Obie Quiet said...

I am still mystified by thl, fascinated though that you were drawn to comment on this poem and these persons.

Research I'd intended to do eventually, I decided to do more of, more on now.

Earlier, though since having written the poem, I'd discovered that the playwright died from cancer of the liver in 1995. I'd discovered that he and Susan did marry.

Just read an article by Richard H. Costa, it was so wonderful, I thought of copying and pasting the entire thing here. Instead, I'll provide link to Wikipedia, on Charles Gordone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Gordone

Why he has arisen in my life at this time, even after he has passed away, is a mystery to me. S.F. though, to whom this poem is dedicated, I must credit for having inspired my memory of this astoundingly interesting couple.

Monday, August 27, 2007 3:29:00 AM  

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