Artist Statement:

I write poetry because it is a way for me to come to terms with the many obstacles that I face daily as black woman.  Poetry is my therapy.   I like to compose in pencil because there is something about the sound of the lead scraping across the page that soothes me.  I can only begin a piece when I am arrested by a thought.  It’s like, when I set down to write, I am banging this thought out of my head like a washer off kilter.  As the thought rattles around in my head, I compose lines under my breath, and it’s only through my writing that I can get it out.  I know a piece is done when I am no longer arrested by the thought.  After writing, I read my words aloud to hear how they sound sequentially, to ensure that they are the remedy to the thought that has rendered me static.  I know that I’m done with my piece when I am no longer arrested.  When others hear my work, because it works better when it is read aloud, I would like for them to gain a better understanding as to what I go through daily.  I want them to work through, just as I have, the things that have arrested me, and see how I have banged the thoughts out of my head and onto the paper, so that they can hear them bouncing around in theirs.



Chereka Dickerson

I have this complex about my complex.ION

Informing the world of my inferiority

Butterscotch peanut butter

Paper bag brown
Caramel candy sprinkled with cinnamon

Complex configuration

Like the blurry array of protons and neutrons racing

Around the nucleus of my atom

Imbalanced inferiority

Charged ION

Like my complexion


Dark lines mar the smoothness of my cheekbones

Reminiscent of rouge

But on me it’s rough

Like grounds of coffee

Speckling my cheeks

Like dirt – Earthy –

Grounds of filth


Charged and imbalanced

Never the right color

Too dark to be light

Too light to be dark

Too nappy to be pretty

Too much meat on my bones to be sexy

Charged as ugly

Convicted as fat

Complex complexity

Imbalance of my molecules

Smallest particle of my atom

Unbalanced like my complex.ION

Euphemism Campus Box 4240 Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4240