The Minglement of Nikky Finney: The Architecture of a Poet
I have known Nikky Finney for over thirty years. She was my teacher and mentor when I was a doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky. She taught me about Lucille Clifton, Lorna Goodison, Angela Jackson, and Kwame Dawes. I watched her give birth to her second poetry collection, Rice, and my DNA can be found on many of the souvenir burlap rice bags we, her friends and family, made by hand and gave out with each book.
There are women who wait at the door until you arrive like you said you would. Women who stand at the screen with their elbows poking in at the wire like original tuning knobs made of fossilized walrus bone.
You can’t prove it. Nobody can. Still I believe she never repeated herself. I have read her words while sitting down or standing up or flat on my back. I have leaned on pillows and read them over and over again and every time they sound different depending on the ache and altitude of my day and desire.