Is lover and bully
To spill its guts
Poetry can’t keep
Secrets always telling everything
I trust it
Poems always speak truth
Even when truth lies
To both scholar and fool
“For me, writing is a responsibility and a duty. I have this gift of being able to write poetry and I see it as a tool to communicate. You know those signs on the buses that say, “If You See Something, Say Something”? For me, writing poetry is that. Whatever I’m doing, when the poem arrives, it’s like a tap on the shoulder and you have to turn your attention to it. You’re off and running, your mind is racing, the words are coming.
“I see Creation as a poem and the Creator is a poet. Each thing, each individual, each animal is a word or punctuation in this great poem that has been written since the beginning of time and will be written into infinity. We’re all in this poem, this epic. It’s like the funhouse at Coney Island—full of surprises, shocks, and amazing adventures.
“Poetry is therapeutic and healing. It’s a place to be honest, and that’s a gift. I love it. I trust it. It allows me to be honest and what a great gift. I’m really grateful to write and to be called a poet.”
—Chardelle Imani Lassiter
Chardelle Imani Lassiter has been an active participant in ASC’s Creative Writing Workshop since 2005 and has published her poems in several issues of Situationsmagazine. A graduate of ASC’s PREP training and Zwickler Memorial Poetry Leadership Program, Chardelle now guest-teaches ASC’s poetry workshops. She also leads creative writing workshops at the Women’s Health Center at Housing Works on a volunteer basis, and studied videography at their “Women With Cameras” program. In 2007, Chardelle created her own video called Invisible Women, which has been shown at ASC and elsewhere. “It feels important to acknowledge that all of the above activities stem from becoming involved with Creative Writing at ASC,” says Chardelle. “The workshop primed me for these other activities by reawakening my creative energy and my desire to find other creative outlets and serve the community by providing similar opportunities for other people.”