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Published November 25, 2018

Poetry by Adrienne Adams
(Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

How the Place You Own Becomes You
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How the Place You Own Becomes You
(A Poem in 3 Parts)

by Adrienne Adams

People never think I’m from here,
Take THAT as a complement, I do
Europe or Vancouver may be, but never HERE.
I grew up Hating Here.
Hating Hockey, the stampeders,
your racist jokes, red mile (of what... ?)…river?
Your arid streets  & dry balmy weather cracks my skin
Blowing up Bowls
of dust to fill
my lungs make me wheeze.
my head pushed so small with boredom
everyday the same, safe, mundane, streets
play on clean parks, houses with no
History characterizes the beauty of decay.
suburbs suffocate under the wide expanse of blanket clouds

So I moved OUT & UP,
character house almost 100 years old got torn down though
I fought those government men for all their teeth and nails!
14 years too early I guess
for the flags that would mark the maturing centennial culture in a welcome
In stead the lush brick, velvet flocked walls, windows with many lead pains
and doors made out of whole tree slices got
Torn down and washed
But not BE for they witnessed murder in our parking lot & me
sneaking in the back alley after being asked for money,
When I said I didn’t have any, he asked me if I wanted to Make some...
we did live on the kiddy stroll, after all ... I guess 18
Was passable enough, and so I Learned what culture was.

Now, that ghost of a house sits inside a paper sculpture I made having
abandoned the modernized, gentrified, sterilized box called, “CONDO” with
no story to speak of,
but what memory may be.                                
the kiddy stroll? ... moved on, rolled over, summer salted else where.
as we try brushing growing problems of home less ness drug a dick tie-on
under the rug of new buildings.
Standing-On buried his stories for the sake of cultural revitalization.

Art school saved my life.
I discovered that underneath all those flames fed by oil fields
lie galleries, theaters, & artist run centers
dance companies, public sculptures, poetry readings, magazines, painted
electrical boxes &
More cultural venues per capita than Montreal!!
Can you believe that?
Never having flaunted more than White or Red colours
forcing victims of suburban cultural genocide to
dig deep and bury in
sniff around until I have roots so deep they run right under the river I always
sought to escape from.
I  Love that water as it rushes to the sea that always sets my heart free.
always hell bent on following that path yet,
for some reason
after all these years
she still finds herself

revisiting my childhood
playing in the silver springs that fed the bow of her soul
& gazing up at the colour blue, imagining
flying away because here on the prairie,
that once vast ocean flood plain
you can see to the ends of the earth,
& so your dreams can do the same..
And after all these years I discovered that
is a Scottish word & so perhaps my roots
with this place are more than skin deep & are in fact
entrenched in the very fibre of her bones
& that
As much as Hate can Turn to Love
(and vice, versa)
when you discover More
Strong feelings are preferred All-ways
& cultivate:
Strong minds,
strong characters and                        

Adrienne Adams is a poet, visual artist and community organizer / curator
based out of Calgary. Through her work she seeks to create more safe
cultural space to honour the undervalued feminine in us all. To this end she
creates poetry and art work honouring the feminine experience. She has
been published in FreeFall Magazine and Wax Poetry on-line. August 2013
she started Woolf’s Voices, a quarterly community event featuring poets,
spoken word artists, musicians, writers, storytellers, etc. and visual artists
whose work honours the feminine from multiple personal perspectives
creating our own collective Woolf Pack! Yes, as in Virginia ;) She jokes that
this is actually just an excuse to howl in public. Ms. Adams has been
featured at many poetry and spoken word events, solo and group art
shows around YYC. You can visit her at
https://www.instagram.com/adamsel.adams/ on Instagram and Woolf’s Voices
on Facebook
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