Tampa poet Yuki Jackson wonders what a banned book would say if he could speak | Columns | Tampa

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If books could talk – and they do in our modern age with Audible and YouTube videos of authors reading live – what would they say?

I wrote this poem from the perspective of a forbidden book. If books could talk – and they do in our modern age with Audible and YouTube videos of live author readings – what would they say? Not the writer but the book itself as if it were alive. I remember what a friend once said about books as a metaphor for slaves. How the slave trade that transported people in chains from Africa wrapped their bodies tightly on wooden planks like books on shelves. Thorns out, backs wrapped around the knowledge contained in their skin that goes unnoticed or goes unnoticed. What about DNA and the transmission of knowledge that causes such a conflict for humans? This hierarchy that tries to subjugate and subjugate those we deem inferior before we have engaged in a real conversation?

I first developed my love for books through my mother. She read to me every day, which I remember when I was a kid, when I didn’t yet have the skills to do it myself. Once I acquired the ability, I would eagerly borrow books from my school library, and my mother would take me to the local bookstore as a reward for good behavior. I would love to browse to see the interesting covers and choose the books that resonated with me the most. When I brought the books home, I felt an intimate connection to them touching their pages and soaking up their knowledge. Books have become a part of me in the same way that every human interaction stays with me as a bridge of understanding.

To understand is not always to know. Most of the time, at best, it is an attempt to connect with something outside of ourselves to know ourselves better. The necessary foundation for this understanding or attempt to take place is respect. Respect for what we don’t know and for those who have experiences we haven’t had. It is this opportunity to connect with people or books that may be different from what we know that allows us to grow as human beings. I hope we will develop such a vast network that enlightenment and progress will not only be accepted, it will be celebrated.

Prohibitions and servitude

It’s personal-
when you say
I have no right to be here,
among the sacred halls
hold the spirits
with spine–
ready to be touched,
and brought home
to be consumed
for all I’m worth –

Don’t I deserve to live
out of my way, too,
among the corridors
blood that carries oxygen
where is it needed?
Don’t I deserve this kind of love too,
where my body rises
like the crossroads
of what is known
and what remains to be done –

I am not the body you recognize
but that doesn’t mean
I don’t belong here–
thrown away like garbage
although I bring with me
a part of you-

You just don’t understand
what to do with admission
you don’t know everything

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