Previous: Rachel Wiley reads "The Mother Riddle"
Next: R.A. Villanueva reads "On Kindness" by Aracelis Girmay



View count:3,381
Last sync:2023-03-15 17:45
Clint Smith (he/him/his) reads the poem “landless acknowledgment” by Nate Marshall.

Clint Smith:

Brought to you by Complexly, The Poetry Foundation, and curators Charlotte Abotsi and Sarah Kay. Learn more:

11 issues of Poetry, subscribe today for $20:

Follow us elsewhere for the full Ours Poetica experience:

#poetry #ourspoetica #ClintSmith
I'm Clint Smith, and I'm a writer. And today I'm going to share with you a poem by Nate Marshall entitled "landless acknowledgement." The thing about this poem that I love so much is that Nate sort of reimagines the idea of home, of a homeland, of where we're from, and takes it away from just being thought of and understood as this sort of macro geographic thing where you know you're thinking of what community you're from, what city you're from, what state you're from, what country you're from. But thinking of where we're from and who we are and what our home is as being more shaped by the people we meet, the conversations we have, the experiences we have, and how all of those things come together and shape who we are in the world.


Before we get started, we would like to acknowledge that we live on some unceded bones.

sometimes me & mine imagine ancestral homes. All I got so far is Montgomery, Alabama.

maybe a boat. maybe a plot of land somewhere so far from the south sides I’ve claimed

that I would get lost on the way. I admit sometimes my homies talk about their families

immigrating & I get jealous. we lost the land we were custodians over before I was a

twinkle in the eye of a twinkle in the eye of a twinkle in the eye. closest I got to a homeland

is my mama’s Caucasian pitch in the phone calling the police. closest I got to a homeland

is not never calling the police. closest I got to a homeland is my daddy’s laugh

in a spades game. closest I got to a homeland is my lover’s tongue talking or otherwise.

closest I got to a homeland is the funk under a DJ's needle & my hand full of a dance

partner. not to be dark but I am. not to be dark but the planet is on fire. not to be dark

but they moving capitals because the water is coming up. not to be dark but our bones

are in that water too. maybe that’s my capital? once the polar capitals melt & there’s a

whole lot less land for folks to buy & sell & steal maybe everybody will feel a little more

dark. will feel a little more homelandless like we do. why you think i call my compatriots

homies? maybe ain’t no home except for how your beloveds cuss or pray or pronounce.