“Talkin’ Bout a Revolution” by Tracy Chapman
When I was eight, Tracy Chapman gave me hope: belief the world could change. I held this message for decades and I hold it still. To start with a question, “Don’t you know,” implies that we should already know; we’re either supporting the revolution or we’re in the way. To sing out about a whisper. To rearrange those armies of salvation. The confidence of guitar and Chapman’s voice: “Poor people gonna rise up/ And take what’s theirs.” The belief that tables turn, that people in power should heed this warning and “run, run, run, run, run…”. The use of 2nd person (you) to implicate all of us: “Oh I said you better run…” There is a safety in this song for me today, even in the skewed reality of our new president. We must not get totally distracted trying to just survive.
Amelia Martens is the author of The Spoons in the Grass are There To Dig a Moat, a book of prose poems selected by Sarabande Books for the 2014 Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature. Her chapbooks include: Purgatory (Black Lawrence Press, 2012), Clatter (Floating Wolf Quarterly, 2013), and A Series of Faults (Finishing Line Press, 2014). She met her husband in the Indiana University MFA program; together they have created the Rivertown Reading Series, Exit 7: A Journal of Literature and Art, and two awesome daughters.
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Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.
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