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Ebony Noelle Golden

Years: 2010


Hailing from HoustonTX, Ebony Noelle Golden is a cultural worker, artist, and creative director of Betty’s Daughter Arts Collaborative. She earned degrees from New York University (M.A.-Performance Studies), American University (M.F.A.-Poetry), and Texas A & M University (B.A.-English/Poetry).  A 2009 Pushcart Poetry Prize nominee, Ebony has taught, published and performed widely.  Her work has been supported by New York University, SpiritHouse, Alternate Roots, We Shall Overcome Fund, Fund for Southern Communities, Soul Mountain Poetry CenterNorth Carolina Humanities Council, State of the Nation, and Atlantic Center for the Arts. She is currently writing "again, the watercarriers", a poetry and performance collection about legacy, trauma, healing, and migration.



quiethandssometimesclapping folds a

textbook into 245 paper

planes   motherbrokenwing 

smirks  remembers redbone’s tongue

against rivets of cheek   in her sister’s

mouth too  (called) shewho

hasnoname  quiethands

believes her panting tongue is a birthmark

her cayenne breath is her father’s

(who some call redbone)   they share the lint of him  pauses

wafer eyebrows  question & lie

quiethands knows  egg

egg sperm husk make her

glue these paper planes

to armpits before she unravels this world

with a backyard of parabolic sunshine

her knuckles quilt the to-go

planes as motherbrokenwing

coaxes tonsil salt  drops crystals

like biology into her daughter’s (who some call quiet

handssometimesclapping) perch

quiethands knows her daddy’s tastes

his rail road salt   hunching salt  salt just before

a prophet semi-quakes below his abdomen

my mother has a dead field rat for a tongue

before i scratch up my own ghosts

or make split pea soup with a man i would de-vein

she places that grave in my mouth  her

fingers beatitudes without apology 

i do not know how to cut the bread stones out