“southeast ridge” by Regie Gibson

it will ask for your well-ripened rage
for your dream bitter with razorwire
for your seven most violentsighs sharp and inconsolable
as crooked teeth

  it will demand your dollar-speaking mouth learn
that you become open glottis and powderedwing
frail as a waning hum       you will resist
   you will resist
because       the city concreting your head says to       because
every verminbackedrat nibbling songs from your sleep says to

   but this place knows what it asks of you
it knows why you are here:
      to know how rage convulses into windlaughter
how razorwire wound is healed in sunsalt
how seven lonely sighs
    become hum and prayer
beneath a heatswollen sky

  This poem is an Ekphrasis based on the following oil, “Southest Ridge” by Gretchen Moran:

Regie Gibson, spoken word facilitator

Former National Poetry Slam Champion Regie Gibson received his MFA from New England College. He’s lectured and performed widely in the U.S., Cuba, and Europe–most recently at Teatro Binario 7 in Milan, Italy. In 2008 as a representative of the U.S., Gibson competed for and received the Absolute Poetry Award in Monfalcone, Italy. He and his work appear in love jones, a feature film based on events in his life. He’s been featured on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, various NPR programs, and nominated for a Boston Emmy. He’s a recipient of both the Walker Scholarship for poetry from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and a YMCA Writer’s fellowship. He’s been published in Poetry Magazine, Harvard’s Divinity Magazine and The Iowa Review, among others. His volume of poems, Storms Beneath the Skin, received the Golden Pen Award. In 2010 Regie received a Massachusetts Cultural Council Award for Poetry and the 2010-11 Lexington Education Foundation Program Grant. He performs regularly with his literary music ensemble Neon JuJu.


  1. Conversational tone with intense underlying energy. Classic Gibson!