A Tempest in a Teacup

A Tempest in a Teacup
by A. Van Jordan

Prospero

Assume, just for a moment,
I am denied a job
in the factory of my dreams
under the fluorescent lights
of a porcelain white foreman.

It’s orderly and neat.
I feed my family.
No one questions my face.
I raised my son in my likeness,
so he would never go unseen,

bobbing on a wave of expectation,
I set in motion with my back
put into my work, praying
for my country, blessed
with more of me, never worrying

about those who might die,
or those who did, trying
to stir a storm, trying
to stand where I’m standing.

About This Poem

“This poem is part of a series of poems in which characters from The Tempest become composite characters who wrestle with the tensions around how we talk about race today, particularly when that talk is gendered. Prospero represents the older, straight white male who fears the cultural shift in America, without seeing the benefits of that shift both for America and even for himself.”
—A. Van Jordan

A. Van Jordan is the author of four poetry collections, including The Cineaste (W. W. Norton, 2013). A professor of English and literature at the University of Mich

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

One response to “A Tempest in a Teacup

  • telcontarblog

    Race and gender, give it a rest and read some actual poetry that isn’t soy boy snowflake horseshit. Start with TS Eliot.

    On Tue, Jul 17, 2018 at 8:02 PM The Closet Professor wrote:

    > Joe posted: ” A Tempest in a Teacup by A. Van Jordan Prospero Assume, just > for a moment, I am denied a job in the factory of my dreams under the > fluorescent lights of a porcelain white foreman. It’s orderly and neat. I > feed my family. No one questions my face. I r” >

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