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The Rule of Opulence: Poetry Reading by Khadijah Queen

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Category: culture Video duration: The Rule of Opulence: Poetry Reading by Khadijah Queen
Video by Mark Blane.

Khadijah Queen is an award-winning author and poet of six books, and an associate professor of English at Virginia Tech. She moved to the New River Valley this past year and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Virginia Tech’s award-winning MFA program, which is consistently ranked among the top 30 in the country by Poets & Writers annual ranking.
The role of opulence. Bamboo shoots on my grandmother's side path grow denser every year they're harvested for nuisance. Breezes, peel, blush and white petals from her magnolia lasing unruly roots in the screen glass. For nine decades. She has seen every season stretched out of shape. This past Connecticut winter, slow to relinquish, cold. As a girl, she heard it slow turkeys on her aunt Mary's farm, 50 acres. And a Maryland County that didn't come until mid-century, working chickens and pheasants from predawn into the late night. Scratching DO for neighbors, relative stopping by for biscuits. And the view from my window changes its mother's day and I'd always disbelieved prominence, newness, a habit, change and addiction. But the difficulty of staying put lies not in the discipline of upkeep as when my uncle chain saws, hurricane felt perches blocking the downslope driveway. Not in the inconvenience of well water, slowing showers and my flesh is not in yellow jackets colonizing the basement. Nuzzling into a whole so small, only a buzz announces their invasion. When violin somos, it's on vinyl end. But in the opulence of acres surrounding a tough house, twice prepared for fires. A kitchen drawer that hasn't open properly in 30 years, marked danger. Nothing more permanent than the cracked flagstone path to the door that I'm eat and are shifting.