This weeks Saturday Poetry, matched with mobile photography/art is entitled ‘On Working Remotely & No Longer Commuting with Chronic Pain’ by Camisha L. Jones. She is the author of the chapbook Flare (Finishing Line Press, 2017). The recipient of a 2017 Spoken Word Immersion Fellowship from the Loft Literary Center, she currently serves as the managing director at Split This Rock and resides in Herndon, Virginia.
Here she explains what this poem is about, “while writing this poem, I was thinking about my pre-pandemic commute to work—three hours total, one and a half hours each way. I was astounded at all I pushed through for years. My time off was mostly spent recuperating from work. The pandemic immediately transitioned me and my colleagues to working remotely full-time. It opened conversations between us about disability justice and how to unravel unrealistic work expectations. We began dreaming of new ways forward. May we not return to ‘normal’ and its toxic expectations of productivity and hustle. May we all listen to the body for sustainable ways forward.”
I have matched artwork by @sengulbekmez – Şengül Özdemir Bekmez with this image untitled. You can view her Instagram feed here.
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On Working Remotely & No Longer Commuting with Chronic Pain by Camisha L. Jones
the train leaves the station without me / so does the bus / the sidewalks stay empty of my steps—the rushed ones, the ones pierced with pain, the its-too-late-at-night to still be walking ones / i keep my cash / it doesn’t load my metro card and then another card when the first one’s lost / i don’t panic in the car about leaving late—least not as much / when winter comes, i don’t sit on the cold, cold bench waiting and waiting, clutching a pair of my stockpiled hand warmers / i don’t bundle myself up in oppressive layers / or unravel in the late night, releasing the day’s pressure like a punctured balloon / instead i sit / and continue to sit / in this chair then that one / look out the window to escape the screen’s demands / wonder how i ever had fuel for those past travels / i rest / and i rise / and listen to the body that’s carried me here as it whispers the way forward
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