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'This Thing Called Life'

Poetry Inspired by the
Music and Spirit of Prince

Prince Rogers Nelson


Truth Thomas

About the Poet

Truth Thomas is a singer-songwriter and poet born in Knoxville, Tenn. and raised in Washington, D.C.

He studied creative writing at Howard University and earned his MFA in poetry at New England College.

His collections of poetry include: Speak Water (Cherry Castle Publishing, 2012), winner of the 2013 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry; Bottle of Life (Flipped Eye, 2010), a finalist for the People's Book Prize in London; A Day of Presence (Flipped Eye, 2008); and Party of Black (Flipped Eye/Mouthmark, 2006).

His poems have appeared in over 100 publications, including: Poetry MagazineThe Journal of Hip Hop Studies, and The 100 Best African American Poems (edited by Nikki Giovanni).  

He is the founder of Cherry Castle Publishing, creator of the Skinny poetry form, a former writer-in-residence for the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society (HoCoPoLitSo), and serves on the editorial boards of the Tidal Basin Review and The Skinny Poetry Journal.





Spring 2017 »

Born in the City of Lakes
by Truth Thomas

Purple made the Richter dance,
drummed through gates of every
ear’s resistance, triggered
high heel boot tsunamis,

heck-a-slammed the body
of all guitars, crumble-cracked
the walls of MTV's segregated
fortress, swallowed-up record

label masters over masters —
crushed them whole in jaws
of Paisley Park fault lines.
And God said it was good,

as doves cried happy tears
at the news, and Sheila played
timbales into glee, and Mayte
danced smiles upon their graves.

And God said it was good —
the epicenter of this tint: all its
multi-instrumental stages,
all its sequined tectonic plates.

And God said it was funky —
this Purple, our Purple, Freddie
Gray’s Purple — the sound
of a train approaching on tracks

of a Minneapolis kiss.




Truth Thomas ~



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