Shame & Compassion

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A Poetry Mixtape Edited by Rachel McCrum

The Poems

My grandmother puts her feet in the sink

                  of the bathroom at Sears

to wash them in the ritual washing for prayer,


because she...

sam says you can’t name your book good boys without a dog

but sam doesn’t know that i am the dog

i am the ultimate mutt and i am telling him this story

at the...

Dear Regret, my leaning this morning, my leather foot, want of

stone, age old, my...

Before you know what kindness really is

you must lose things,

feel the future dissolve in a moment

like salt in a weakened broth.

What you held in your hand...

Stepping off the plane in Whitehorse

the last thing I expect to feel

is home

not quite alone

but close enough

here in this great black north.


Am I a praise poet or a blame poet?

Today I am a blame poet.


 O Death, face it, existence

doesn’t like you.


You can’t sing. You can’t...

before i start i want to say you shouldn’t blame yourself

there’s no point in beating around the bush

there’s something we need to talk about

this is the most...

It was in a boardroom

that I witnessed the latest killing


A room filled with knowledgeable

white people


trying to understand


I was a kid other kids’ 

parents gossiped about.


They told their children

what I was: too negative.


I get it. Fair to fear...

i thought it was ok - i could understand the reasons

they said there might be young children or a nervous man seeing

this small piece...

Nobody heard him, the dead man,

But still he lay moaning:

I was much further out than you...

The Playlist

We are currently adding to the Mixtape playlists, so check back soon and often! Send us your recitation of one the poems in this Mixtape, and we may add it to the Playlist!

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