Chelsey Richardson

Nominated by Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas

Chelsey Richardson, born and raised in Seattle, is a dynamic spoken word artist, mentor, educator, and activist. Her writing is influenced by race, politics, and everyday life. Infused with her love for music her work is greatly impacted by her desire for social change. In October 2007 she had the honor of winning The Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Slam at Chicago State University and earned a spot on the first Women’s National Poetry Slam team stage, in Seattle to compete against some of Seattle’s greatest female poets. She is currently studying Creative Writing at the University of Washington.

The Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas (CD Forum) presents and produces African-American cultural programs that encourage thought and debate for the greater Seattle area. SAY IT LOUD!

They nominated Chelsey because: “Her writing requires you to think critically and examine the world in which we live. She is a writer that truly represents independent poetic expression. There is a cleverness and creativity in her prose that draws the reader or listener in. She is an amazing teaching artist and mentor in Seattle who is poised for a dynamic career.”

Statement

As Poet Populist I want to encourage others to have out-of-body experiences through the works of their own poetry. I hope to awaken the suffering poet within my hardcore, yet-to-be-deployed Marine brother. I would be honored to be Poet Populist during one of the most important times in history.

Poem

Portrait of a Painter

His brush trailing the outline of our wetted silhouettes

Her face held captive me, the other woman
Both like puppets played and painted for his creative pleasure.

Her lips
stroked into a melancholy Mona Lisa smile
mine colored a mistress red, the way he liked them.

His wrists flinging
first up then down, swift circular motions
A suicidal cigarette threatening a massive fall from his moist lips
giving up ashes before its way down.

Her arms
Bending through stiff puddles of oil
gathering wet on my cheekbones
like small beads bubbling against a ducks ruffling feathers, after the spill.

His panting like love making

Her torso leaned forward taking on the shape
of a mishandled heart

Me a spectator reaching out to touch her
shaded cold ivory and gray
My body bound by blue sage.

His brush leaving paint where love was
leaving love in its place.

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