An Open Letter to the Huffington Post Writer Who Visited My City

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For the writer of this wonderful article: “Perfect Day In Charleston, SC”:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shoptiques-/perfect-day-in-charleston_b_5883370.html?utm_hp_ref=travel&ir=Travel

This ain’t the first time y’all came here,

your head brimming with expectations of fried opossum

and hillbilly carnival, the specter of the south leaving

such a distinctly sweet taste in your mouth.

But here we ain’t choking on molasses, ain’t passing time

running through fields of corn, listening to country music,

and doing whatever else the fuck you think we do here.

You come to Charleston and smile, congratulate us

on how progressive we’ve become. How our buckteeth

don’t offend you as they snack on sweet taters.

You said something to that effect, didn’t you,

when you praised the southern boutiques built for tourists,

said the south ain’t so bad after all.

You came looking for genteel, so I guessed you miss

the dirt in our teeth, the flames in our eyes, the fight

in our chests, and the holy brains in our skulls.

Cute that you thought a day could do us justice,

that when looking for the beautiful in our city,

you only looked up toward steeples, conjuring

plantation homes in downtown that never existed.

Tell me again how quaint we are, us quiet people,

how we put you to sleep. How you think that condescension

ain’t fighting words.

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About Derek Berry

Derek Berry is a novelist and spoken word poet. Derek is the author of Heathens and Liars of Lickskillet County (PRA Publishing, 2016). He co-founded and organizes The Unspoken Word, a literary non-profit based out of Charleston, SC, which provides an intendent home for the poetic arts through regular readings, workshops, and community fundraisers. He is on the Executive Board of the Charleston Poetry Festival, the inaugural production of which will be Fall 2017. His work has appeared in The Southern Tablet, Cattywampus, Charleston Currents, Illuminations, RiverSedge, and other journals.He has performed in venues across the United States and Germany. He has worked as a photographer’s assistant, busboy, and bookseller. He currently works at a curation facility for Cold War History.

Posted on October 1, 2014, in Poems, Poetry, South Carolina, Writing, writing advice and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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