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Yalonda JD Green

Years: 2010



Yalonda JD Green is a poet, performing songwriter, scholar, and educator from Detroit, MI currently working on her creative dissertation in University of Louisville’s Humanities PhD program. She holds a BA in Literature (with Creative Writing emphasis) from Kentucky State University and an MA in Communication (with emphases in Rhetoric & Cultural Studies) from Wake Forest University. Some of her work appears in Reverie, TORCH, and Mythium. Her piece "Synapse" (with painting by Violine Antoine) was also displayed at the Metro Louisville bus shelter on the corner of Muhammad Ali & Floyd streets as part of the Shelter Art & Poetry collaborative. Yalonda’s alter-ego, JD Green, is an indie jazz|soul|funk musician. Her debut album, Diurnal: Movements, was released in June 2010. Yalonda lives (and jams) in Louisville, KY.







Strange Fruit


She is slumped, her gaze



distant, downcast eyes

simple ponytail, sparkling knit gown—

her only accompaniment

the pianist & her rage


Her twisted mouth is spit, acid

her voice clangs & scrapes each clipped line;

all wail & grimace,

she leans into the southern wind

& suspends herself there

until the piano’s final, sudden pluck


Billie is singing “Strange Fruit,”

& I am breathing the burning flesh

as my daddy hangs there


I know it is him by

the sole of his one shoe, tatters of a once-

starched work-shirt

the simple wedding band embedded

in the purpled meat of his left hand


but not by his face,

gnarled &

blacked by boots & flames


I have seen it—


char & ruin; what

was lovely

is now pulp, carcass,

peculiar wretched crop


After she has sung me sorrowful

& fit to kill,

Billie  the crows & I wait

for the sweet, disgusting fruit

to drop.