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Virginia, United States
Latorial Faison was born on April 14, 1973 and raised in Southampton County, VA, . She has authored 11 books, including Mother to Son, Love Poems, the 28 Days of Poetry Celebrating Black History series, and children's book, Kendall's Golf Lesson. Faison attended UVA in Charlottesville and completed graduate studies in English Literature at VA TECH. Her writing has appeared in About Place Journal, Poetry Quarterly, Southern Women's Review, Deep South Magazine, Obsidian III, Blackberry, Chickenbones, Kalyani, and The Chattahoochee Review. Faison was a finalist for the 2018 Furious Flower Poetry Prize judged by Poet Marilyn Nelson. Her writing has been published alongside Iyanla Vanzant, Danny Glover, and Dr. Cornel West in the NAACP Image Award winning book Keeping the Faith. Faison has been published in BET's Digital Drum, Electronic Corpse: poems from a digital salon, The Poetry Society of Virginia's 80th Anniversary Anthology, and the University of Toledo's "Poems for Peace" project. Faison is currently on the faculty at Virginia State University where she teaches writing and literature.

Friday, April 07, 2017

Straight Out

Straight Out

I am sick & tired of hearing
About these boys who become men, 
Who get there--
Only to trade penis for pen,
Writing monologues in their hieroglyphs,
Rearranging primaries & ranking sin.

Once upon a time, there lived some kids
Who were straight--
Straight outta Compton's, straight outta Chicago's, 
Straight outta slums, straight outta ghettoes.
Straight outta prison, straight outta time.
Straight outta sight, straight outta mind.

Copyrighted April 7, 2017 Latorial D. Faison

Friday, April 22, 2016

For All Your Blues

-for Prince-

You have gone, vocally reached
Past it, songs of seduction

Yonder in the night. The light,
It has come & granted you

Royalty for all your blues.
Robed in rhythmical genius,

You gave new life & you breathed
New life. While we marvel at

The gift, there in the distance
You stand strikingly strumming,

Singing like angels, preaching
like Rock & Roll's Paul. We grieve

The day you flew away, a
Dove whistling battle cries.

Copyrighted April 22, 2016 by Latorial D. Faison

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Growing Up

By Latorial Faison

I thought we were gonna die
Somehow we'd implode/explode

But there were no sirens &
No flashing lights, no police

Come to haul us out of sight
Mama didn't run back here

From the dead to say we'd raised
A sissy or thug instead

Jesus didn't crack the sky
The Good Reverend Doctor

She didn't drop dead or sigh
When the firstborn turned eighteen

Shattered all our hopes & dreams
With ear piercings on each side.

Copyrighted April 21, 2016 Latorial D. Faison

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Born to Slay the Dragon

by Latorial Faison

The power's in the poem
This void filled with the presence
Of Holy ghost(s) speaking life

To tiny bones, little big
One born to slay the dragon
With a gold ring & three sons

Oh life, where's your victory
& love, where is it, thy joy?
Held captive by new giants 

Philistines of the same hell 
Come to slay & prey on me
Leave me bowed yet incomplete

Shifting unknown paradigms
Intersecting & crossing
Over life's greatest divides

Settling old & new scores
Between people, families 
Races, nations, ideals, faiths

I am not afraid to die
My lips, they fight the battle
My pen, it wages the war.

Copyrighted April 14, 2016 Latorial D. Faison

Monday, April 11, 2016

Like Roman Soldiers on Good Friday

For whom have you come?
Mama in Fall & Daddy in Summer
Were not enough?
You have orchestrated grief
For names I can no longer call
Hands I can no longer hold
And I harvest what we
For 35 years were
The whole of a legacy going down
With a house that hard work built.

The salt in their wounds misunderstood
In you is their truth & dare of eternal life 
But how & why & where 
Does one go & into thy bosom fall?

Silenced by a blowing out of candles
You alone are something
Everything & nothing
A bamboo floor
Gray hairs in a pink brush
66 acres & a fool's joke 
History played on us.

From old places with new opportunities
Death, you have come 
Like Roman soldiers on Good Friday
Fulfilling the law to crucify the called.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Dearly Beloved

Dearly Beloved

They have taken our lord.

We have lost our lady.

While more than men's dreams die,

Too many new coffins float

Through ancient river beds

Collecting broken vows

That be our salvation.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Unpacking It

by Latorial Faison

Moving in my forties
like having to extract
my own teeth with pliers

Look at all the boxes
staring up & down at
the me that used to be
young, strong, interested

How many states have I
loved & left wondering
what beautiful ugly
packing & dragging these
memories through thin air
those people I love/hate

No one to call on but
our last names & blood ties
& nineteen years that passed
without unpacking it
this box of wedding gifts

©  2014 Latorial D. W. Faison

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

History Woman

It was a dying womb
where you came from dreaming
of life in Norfolk & new shoes
a place to call your own, a clean room

Orphaned, you were grateful
for this little life of yours & mine
that God cared enough to make room
in a house without a welcome mat
where you were too black & too big
for the opportunities of white folks

But you could cook & clean em'
you could love a white child to death
nurse a malnourished black one to good health
with your poor, dark, giftedness

You knew it all 'bout tobacco leaves, "solja" beans,
cotton fields & seasonin' greens. 
when you fried your fish & baked
your famous cobbler dish, it was genius
how you always made sugar from shit.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Good Father is Never Dead

A good father is never dead,
gone with yesterday, forgotten,
erased from mind & memory.

He lives on. He lives long, present
& alive in words that survive,
wisdom that has made time stand still.

He reaches from glory with strong
hands lifting up toward sky through
whatever chaos comes bearing
witness, whatever confusion
compiled, whatever confessions
come to light each pathway gone dim.

Copyrighted June 14, 2014 Latorial D. W. Faison

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I'm Just Looking for a Good Poem

by Latorial Faison

I'm just looking for a good poem
something to get me through more than just the night
something to have, to hold, till death do us part

I'm looking for the right poem
a poem that works, gives more than it takes
a poem that cooks and cherishes the love it makes

I'm looking for a poem with good sense
a poem that looks good, feels good, is good to me, is good for me
a poem that's mine
a poem populating space with all the right words
a poem that speaks, makes powerful statements
one that stands up and stands out

I'm just looking for a good poem
a poem that makes minds read it and think
about poems that are not poems
about poems that long to be
words that do and don't come together
for the sanctity, for the ebb and flow
for a good poem, I'm just looking

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Daddy's English

A man of few words 
famous for calling women 
their husbands' names or nicknames 
Mrs. Cat or Mrs. Charlie

He'd call you cracker jack  
if you couldn’t be still
shot for trying to be somebody you were not
pistol if he thought you were mean as shit 

He might even call you TharlJespa, or Ettie
girl-child if you were a boy 
primping in a mirror too long

Copyrighted Feb. 2014 Latorial Faison

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Resurrection

Close your eyes, come go with me
To a remarkable place, Mount Calvary
Feel the hatred that was displayed
In a world that by His hand was made

Envision them mocking our Lord
As “King of the Jews” with a crown of thorns
The Son of God hanging way up high
On a rugged cross beneath the sky

See the blood come streaming down
Feel His pain, hear the sounds
The Christ’s last words upon the cross
They live forever to save the lost

Through the passion of that final hour
He took the blame that was really ours
Now stand we here, at the foot of the Cross
Where the Savior paid the absolute cost

Right then and there, our Lamb, the Christ
Was accepted by God as the ultimate sacrifice
The true Messiah who had walked this earth
He put on humanity through a Virgin birth

There on Calvary, the hour had come
He said “It is finished” so it was done
Redeeming us, He paid our debt
Now at the right hand of God our Redeemer sits

He rose three days later, to the surprise of man
Got up from the grave with all power in His hand
Power over Heaven, power over earth
That same power that ordained His birth.

It was there, at Calvary, where a Son was crucified
Who so loved the world that for it He died
In Him is life, the truth, and the way
Though He died, He lives this Resurrection Day

Copyrighted April 2006 Latorial D. Faison |