December 4, 2017 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Joseba Barrenetxea photo



Penn Kemp







They take their lives and then

they take their songs.

What remains? A flicker

of script. Yellowing news.

A flutter across the screen.


What history records, we hear

with different ears now.


A jazz riff, a tap dance, certain

gestures that call to mind

body movement


What gives them freedom

to think on stage

without consequence?


What is it about putting on

the mask that allows for


freedom, for

political and social



Parody runs both ways.

Tradition frees them to mock

like Shakespearean jesters.


These minstrels jump in the box

and out. At will. The stage

cannot hold such energy.






Penn Kemp

Penn Kemp is an activist Canadian poet, playwright and editor.  Her latest works are two plays celebrating local hero and explorer, Teresa Harris, produced in 2017 and published by Playwrights Guild of Canada. Recent books include Barbaric Cultural Practice (quattrobooks.ca/books/barbaric-cultural-practice/) and two anthologies edited, Women and Multimedia and Performing Women (http://poets.ca/feministcaucus/livingarchives/). See www.pennkemp.weebly.com.

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