Daeja D. Baker
Published: November 12th, 2015
My name is Daeja D. Baker. I hail from the North Side area of Pittsburgh, PA. My literary background stems from a BFA and MFA in Creative Writing with a poetry concentration. I write as a form of reconciliation for myself, for others. I grew up going to an art’s school for instrumental music and being very involved in visual art, drama, and music of all kinds. My work sometimes takes on a musical persona of it’s own as I focus on rhythm, balance, and internal melody. It is my hope to, through words and actions, help those in need, protest the wrong, share grief, spread joy and love… ultimately to connect and overcome.
I currently work for Apple, Inc. focusing mainly in business sales. It works my brain and I use my learnt skills daily. I love it! I hope to go back to school someday to either obtain a JD to be a part of the justice system in family law, or a PhD in Urban Studies, to also do the same community outreach work and justice-seeking that I may be able to experience as a lawyer. My main stem of the tree is knowledge and travel; I believe that through experience and reflection we can become anything.
Correspondence: Learning Guitar as You Sleep
You lay near sleep
as I sing
notes of this
so you can learn
that music lives
in the notes
of my fingers,
in other tones,
like love blown
through a sax—
to live in you
On the Birmingham Bridge
look how they shine for you. This is better than going to bed.
The lights on all the hills blink overtop our silent heads.
Some of them deep, unchanging, some of them stutter.
In late winter rain we impatiently wait for thunder
on the Birmingham Bridge—I don’t look at you, imagine our kids.
You speak about your nephew; I forget kids. Dead
wind picks up. I zip my light jacket, still—turned from you I forbid
monogamy its tongue. The Monongahela grips Downtown lights.
I wonder—look how they shine. For you
the stars in the city pulled in, the color of light, to thread
consolations, before your eyes. This—way better than my bed.
The sky followed you here—in a hard rain—we still wait for thunder.
I stand three feet away, a safe distance from commitment. No bother
holding your hand, holding anything, at all.
The hill bed—look! How they shine for you.
Church Poem for a Non-Believer
I no longer cry—in the shower
or anyplace else.
In her living-room, a large hospital bed
decked in pink bed sheets and blankets
her dead body surrounded in dark
and light line-swirls of pink:
a thin wall of comfort.
Her last church.
Mother Nature’s Tarp
My mother can’t stop reading about death.
There is nothing about this in the books.
I don’t look at her. The bridges, one after
the other, line the North Shore. The rain
Hurricane Sandy gives us changes
the yellows, greens, and steel-colors
of the bridges to a muddied brown,
like the waters of the Allegheny.
Who knows what beauty is?
I want to ask my mother why
she doesn’t cry I imagine
fish litter the bottom of the river,
with their non-human eyes, sexless
and deformed from old steel pollution.
The air is dense. I don’t open
the window to feel
the strange heaviness.
I wait for the cancer to leave us.