Thursday, February 27, 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Black Car Through Harlem

And every few blocks there's a lone black man with his hands loose in his pockets, eyes shifty but practiced at it so situated on the traffic like hunger. He wonders if you want a taste.  I wonder what he dreams of, awake, in between getting paid and getting popped, his baby moms and the locksmith and the competition. Is it still dysfunction if he buys what he doesn't sell, tries it himself, trembles like a knot of branches while his child sleeps off the bandanad moon . Is it customary to count, from full to new and back like a sound voodoo priestess at that, the sound of counting. I counted twenty, standing alone on the concrete as models or sudden melodies. There is nothing so dangerous as images. Nothing so dangerous and false. 

Hands (dealers)

'Just who is being serious and what are we taking sersiously'

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Repentance (Karma and)

You could start by weeping about how tiny my wrists are. Not even just in comparison to yours but objectively as a rhythm in the universe they ping like almost gathered cymbals in the chorus of an Egyptian remedy. Then you could admit that Greece is killing us all by proxy. It's a situation in the hood and fate in the good book. The fact that we trust the word tragedy with our tears I mean, is how we are constantly dying. You could stand up and scream my name while looking through shady binoculars off a plantation balcony. Is that yours. Is that yours? Is that yours or mine, that shadow of a gaze.  If you're tempted to jump again remember you'll be sent back and have to do it all over. You could tell your mother until she reminds you what time it is. You could tell your mother was crazy enough to love by how hard you try to thwart her genius. You could tell your wife she's the mother you'd always wanted. You could admit  to her a mother makes a complicated wife though. Use the though to add an air of adolescent arrogance/ a doubt that's self-assured. Don't be afraid to go away from grammar to get back to your own sound, cause love lost in that sheltered life, where you act like you're waiting for permission to have something in common with yourself. It will inevitably reunite like the magnetic strands of your own dna with the lantern in your certain spirit. Mounds of light and distance in a dance called this life/forth/didn't force it, willed it, is it. Plus your voyeurism is as dumb and endless as love. Domesticated terror struggles to look authentic in webcam. Gives up and decides to just look black enough for handcuffs. Just to get a rep.

Holding onto the ego/ Neon eagle/neon cross that buzzes

And the story of man is divided brusquely between those who know the sky and those who know only the earth

Monday, February 24, 2014

On liberation by hearing (a treatment for an impossible book)

This is a book about dead immortals who don't know their own role in the eternal triangle. Love trio with self. Three or Four black men, or one who is all of them. Dialog with the Feel Trio, Dialog with Yesterdays New, Real New, Trio of Five-spotted dreams. Triage sometimes got in the way of true love. Children are more urgent than lipstick. Loud thug music chugs through their hearts guzzling bitterness or bigtimeness, like the train they travel home in, on a bright dark night. Sex is a form of measurement, that's all, and each man has used it like a labor as thick and settleback as his music, some kindred pattern to turn to in a ruthlessly random universe. Some Sweet Sweetback mannerisms. Not quite swept away but not quite not, yet. What are we waiting for, everyone wonders. So each man spends the book describing his life, so beautifully, so into it, not knowing that what he's actually describing is an afterlife, an underworld curled toward him like a woman he can't feel, for fear. Maybe the men are Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, My Father, and you. You know who you are. One by one they slip into a memory of the same song and start to sort of play it with their stories like a blues parallel or call and response, it plays itself back for them and they begin to realize it's all happening like a blindfold test, there are other men's sounds emanating from their own music. They discover one another this way. I thought you were dead, each man says to the other, and then the others, one by one, until everyone is revealed to everyone else. Can you stumble into an epiphany casually or does it have to be this huge distracting rupture like a chariot in a sea of motors? The significance of it all is that maybe so. I mean maybe we are all both dead and alive, like good and evil going beyond themselves yet again, and what does that mean for the revolution? It seems perfectly natural to assume that I have always existed, is one of the refrains running through the text. And if we are all in that middle space together for some kind of always then maybe the extreme way in which we repudiate it is the stray bullet aimed at our victory and sorrow, all our good ass Blues codes under threat by our own jacked up unlistening. The men maybe discover that fear of another world had plagued them so much that they were afraid to acknowledge that they were experiencing that world and the fear of it simultaneously. Only in their music would they admit this to themselves. But now, at this great and advanced reunion wherein they cannot tell the difference between before and after, a divine sense of responsibility attracts them back to one another, where they play out alternatives to spacetime, a less degrading sense of justice. The discovery is not so much consolation as incentive to relax like real slaves, the kind we've all been, to our all-time spirits. Nothing is really resolved here, or no, maybe one by one the men disappear, spiral into subjecthood like priests and repeat the whole thing on the kind of camera that this tiny world has become. Wild/calm.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Unspeakable (1)

If this is still a prayer,

I can't tell.

Whenever we do things together, the coded gestures (kneeling, so many names

        override their own desperation

I didn't say

we have the same god in mind (we don't/ I'm mine )

I didn't say  

this would be the last time    I'm addicted to last time    and time doesn't exist anyways   did you see how late I was at the beginning and learn that way        for whom the homeland is not a place of                                                                          
                                                                     inevitable return  

I didn't say

A strong and sustained occupation,     A strong and sustained resistance to that occupation

I didn't say

this pussy is for married men, who'd rather betray their lie than themselves  (their narrow windows of clarity and elsewhere                        

I didn't say

help me to be a woman who cares about their tired paramours — we call it the great work / how you like me/ better/ now/  help     me to be the

doubtlessly, I would leave you on a dirt road close to the river, with your suitcase full of guns and t-shirts, a couple spiral notebooks full of—                  if this is still a prayer
                                                                      I can't tell

Unspeakable delights tempt maddeningly from the far shore          

And Robert Johnson is more important than

all the dead commercials half-launched in your  subconscious        crown chakra     conman     common man       hero in a banned love       with abandonment    (get in line, nigga, we soldiers, the responsibility chants, droll and infinite ly     leaving the body but not the soul  

                                             We don't even have the same devil in mind      but the song floats up like a double ghost and finds you in its lines

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I want a land where the sun kills questions

I sometimes wonder if openness is becoming a crutch. The transparency so many turn to for salvation keeps proving to be a shallow attempt at distilling one's own grief and misunderstanding into the hearts of others, in my experience. Honesty deployed as relief like the criminal surrounded by his crimes and somehow pleased for having confessed them to the victim in a confusion of the difference between committal and commitment, and at the same time there are no victims, or others, anyways, the other person is always you, and that is no longer surreal just basic knowledge. And what is a confession? A yielding energy born of infinite pressures to measure the self in relation to its actions/deviance/retreat/from a center built on nerve or lack thereof. Self-objectification. Tacky and beautiful. The verb self and the verbal self make a pact with experience. What is so confessional about our culture now that isn't also somehow sinister? Like what we call reality is just this mounting evidence of the mask. A monument to the mask that makes us feel so real and exactly visible and invisible at the same moment. Like the sun is when it illuminates everything and makes mysteriousness into the farce and inevitability that it is. It makes it hard and eager to concentrate. But at least its disappearances are consistent and regal. At least the sun's cowardice and its courage are born of an identical impulse— a brilliant maniac it must feel like out there on stage every day trying to save us from the hunt for meaning. The futility becomes not that it isn't there (the meaning) but that it's all there, it's all illuminated, until a primitive indifference to everything but its truest function must make that radiance feel a bit blasé, but no less lucid, just almost fed up with its own truth.  So all writers should run. Everybody should, to understand the pretense of getting away from oneself in order to learn oneself, to understand how the value of a good mistake is in our ability to let it answer only to itself without becoming just another crime or dream, to refuse the doubt that guilt encourages. And because this is the land between yes and no...

Running does to the body what right language does to the spirit. You reveal one truth and another, deeper and more difficult one is immediately born in the space you thought you had carved out for alleviation and recording. There is no history, only an infinite present. Each stride, each word, I thought I'd cured the abyss/ I'd only exceeded it and turned into this avid speaker between me and my own listening, a point of access to the subconscious that then needs to be toned in order to avoid excess seeing (over-vulnerability) or blindness (delusion). Most everything becomes symbolic and mundane in that newborn haven of an abyss, and most of all... anything that could last through all that silence, deserves the name love, when you finally find it, again, for the first time. Each and every discovery is a romance. I once underestimated the capacity of my own, heart, soul, and spirit, now I spend the abyss forgiving myself, not quite Dionysus but not quite anything else either. It seems perfectly natural to assume that I have always existed. The phone rings. I'm accidentally calling myself from my computer. I still have the strength to laugh. You still don't have the strength to cry and when you discover it don't take it for granted. Yes, that's love.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Open Letter (2)

Dear Dad, 

Sometimes I think we confuse re-inventing love with re-inventing death and I think maybe we even like it and need it that way. Maybe we court the kind of confusion that regulates us into our subtler uses, like, you go be the showmanship and I'll be your hippest reason, your once-in-a-resurrection slant rhyme with yourself  and helicopter glance/glee, ghetto bird so loud I can finally sleep. It gets paratactic like that like when the sun is up and we get lit. No, the sun is really up. At last. And we lit. Uppity Sun. Up there in that caricature of sky like a lucky number or verse stuck in Rainman's perfect child/ mind. 

When Amiri died I wept for 2 weeks, off and on, and I keep on shedding some kind of amplitude for him until it feels like he's still here warning me from within you got to be a spirit, you can't be no ghost, and don't ever let anyone break you, he promised me one night at Blue Note after a Jon Faddis show, before a whisky and coke. You and Faddis share a birthday, and Jon is O's uncle, it all feels related like a blatant mend in the safest someday, my prince is them. 

I was visiting LA for the month when it happened, and on my daily, glorious runs among the  smog and griffins, spandex and the moonlight's but a spotlight— I wept as I ran and listened to him read under gigantic headphones, and I listened to Theo Parrish and Miles and Amiri reading to me and cried and ran. Sometimes chanting Witness the Fitness! 

Even mourning feels like a form of vanity in Los Angeles and even realer and rawer for it the way all acts are repetitive and eventually become what they set out to only pretend. But the stranger doesn't even pretend.  That's how this year began, like a blunt stranger offering up the weightless baton I've always been waiting to patiently grasp, like its pretense of tumbling into the bluff of me rescued by a sense that enough is not/never enough. It is not. A tainted empathy flailing in the torch that will not stop burning. A new course in tone science, alliances and their obstacles. 

You and Amiri were born in the same year and maybe it feels like you've died again, and therefore returned again, and the domain of everything feels clenched in the sudden purgatory between revel and rival (volition and listening), between why now and now's always the time. And I call the fact that I slept with that married guy that same month, that same guy I asked you to help me transcend and banish, I guess I call that a relapse or some kind of reach toward what you and Amiri represent to me but in a new form, trying to replace the heroic with the erotic, failing, triumphantly. And now what? I'm a fugitive? You're a fugitive? It's as if three men died and I could only cry for one. It's as if I am a miracle and I can only perform myself for you and them, 

Only the impossible happens. It's as if we're all shepherds in love but mumbling the announcement between sobs and laughter and a deaf flock, not sure which is more accurate of love/at last. We argue over which window to jettison the television from,  all those stories below, all told or untold but alive like falling into place, and when it crashes we disagree over which wire caused the burn. In the silence we're left with, I whisper I hold no grudge and it sounds like a lie even though it's a lie. Damn. The uncontrollable urge to dance began with standing still in that sounding. And it's the Olympics. I don't watch. It's the limp way competition commits loyalty to satisfy the loyalty it ruins. Hmph. I'm in this beautiful, I've-seen-it-all and nothing at all/is real/are you real?, mood. Miles is still on and all of you have come back to life in me which is difficult like a happy ending with no specific event to call happy and endlesslyThe happy thing is no where to be seen and how safe that has made it. How protected. How reckless. How diligent. How lazy. That dream again. 

Today is the day that you give you heart to... Dad, I want you to hold onto your heart now, what if you win your own heart back? Close the door behind those sad cops and come back inside and stay for a while like always. I don't blame you for saving our lives even though some days we forget what to do with them, pagans that we've faithfully been, imagining is remembering. I'm finding more and more that no body knows anything about the Bible anyways. And I think everyone's alive/again. I had to like, open the bruise up, and let some of the Blues blood come out, to show them. 

It's only love that gets us through,


Concatenations (privilege)

We know the story will end happily. The characters in the story do not seem to know this

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Good Manners of Vampires

Like not demanding something of a tradition that is not in it    We were only trying to resist denial

I'm finding more and more that no body knows anything about the bible   so it doesn't matter who's cain and whose the lie or getlow  and how  everything beautiful is suddenly an excuse for its own ugliness—I wanted to ask why as if we were on television and I could detect the pain of my intelligence well up in his eyes like gloves and a mask before a drastic approval— watch the eyes like a mammy in blackface/afraid to cry in a laughing place   but not prayed up enough to do anything other than   misbehave like people   Matrophobic old ass niggas, at least 40, married to their mothers, court me one by one until I wonder forever young, I wonder when the joker's gonna pop out of some Hyundai with a set of golf clubs and gold teeth and try to teach me again about the tradition.  Everything is funny and uniform like the militant black me coming back in uniform and finding my one true love lynched has himself on some illuminative mimicry but he's still in the bloody tree scrawled and alone like a poem on the wall of its intention just about to bend for realism when it gets all witchdoctoristic and sunny stitt on the swingset and you hear someone in the audience whispering over big earnest claps, I thought we had killed all those people. If the music gets too polite, if you recognize it at all, I'd run too, the whole way through

Brer Fox, she laugh low

You got to be a spirit; you can't be no ghost

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Flexible Concept

That words have edges is an insight most vivid

I felt newly precise to have just grazed it like the briefly valid distance between myself and what I create is to crave nothing

I felt like all of life was a myth and we all began by dying into a sanctuary where trite fables of individuality enter into the social network like no body's ghost heart, transplant, save our seas, save our frantic asses, brave for the candlelit future with your fists in that wax like a newfangled curator, re-staging the artifacts became typical all Fred Wilson whatever but still beautiful and necessary like salt carried on a breeze of fallen ecstasy toward the balk of new ignition, rev, revelator, reverend, all my prayers pretend how the story makes you want to fall asleep in your own unbelievably aloof arms, nudging the pedal of his gun like it was long ago that these machines could come undone and now that we are these machines and incorruptible and always whole and now what kind of excuses do we make for our insistent regulatory romanceless more or less camp of western eyes and anti-celebration and our saviors are suddenly

I was always in love, that's my excuse, and every man who could bring me to life, who could animate me like that, could kill me too. That's a risk I can't refuse

He was the suicidal one and I was the one in love with whatever seduced him into new beginnings    We try to call it by any other name


Follow me
Hit me
Be right on this beat

But Imma steady hang behind it

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Au chat qui peche

Lately I've been so pessimistic
Let it settle as drift to the shoulder of softer road and let mend a nerve as it enters—
There were no roses yesterday,
surely they'll appear today/ as soldiers lined up one by crime on my father's empty grave

I'm almost

                           certain    (looked for you yesterday/here you come today)

and I'll love them each and all so steadily like a stubborn piano on the ledge of a commons or total grief in a field of purple indulgent sorrow/ some total elsewhere or else no where shit /

Lately I've been elsewhere or else nowhere, shit, it's been so terrible and mellow like I should care about the way one desire covers for another but it's very inconvenient / to love another woman's husband, better than she ever could and not at all. Lately all the messes feel clean and healing, but before we know to how honor their sweet deranged messages. I tried to resist. I nearly resisted. Lately I've been so real and high on eternity I almost forgot how everybody died but the dealer's mother, how I'm her and what a weird lament and element to remember /he left me/all these records/and a reckless craving for sun   like  in Battle of Algiers    the inevitable people can abandon their own hearts and still survive in them like visitors

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Your tea is cold now
You drink it standing up
and leave the house

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

In Defense of Immorality

All of my heroes have been abused, tortured into superiority, reached its chore through infinite disappointment, even the rich white ones with lawns like planation. Suffering too, has become a commodity and one without which I would have trusted the visible world instead of my imagination and been a girl Friday still waiting for my promotion to mistress.

Outrage is to Apathy as

It was so outrageous, we had to find a way to use it

Monday, February 10, 2014

Grapevine/ Ritual Theater

All gods are letters    All letters are ideas   All ideas are numbers    All numbers, perfect  signs 

A man becomes a habit    A man is not a habit   The both break at that   God is babbling again   All acts are gods   All gods are dying   All dead are lies  All lies are myths   All myth is eternal   Even eternity's in trouble  Bells usher the road  the way Walcott uses the word Heraldic  could save  us lots of  trust  and funny style act(ed)  All ritual is closeness    to the source of all gods   are tortured   I heard somebody say

                                 I heard somebody say
                                 I heard somebody say
                                 I heard somebodysay

                                 I am singing/always 

A god is not a healer  I write so many letters   I am so many ideas  prayers could get embarrassing and ordinarily  today   75% off heart necklaces in the Amazon     I became the somebody saying (Atman/Atmon, c'mon, you too?)  some sun in the way of patience  some pleasure  in the taste for none   I heard somebody say   I am somebody   today  / All love is rage   I'd rather be naked and on my knees in private  than find out why you stay that high/habit /liar/ my man   I am more myself than ever before  and less  yours therefore and more yours than all these years we've spent hiding like sources in one another's music. Is it that we find disaster soothing or it makes everything more true and impossible. All truth is impossible. Another notch in our god complex. Only the impossible happens. It's worth repeating. Iheardsomebodysay I heardsomebodysay  I hurt that way today   like overhearing   All sound is one time or another a part of your body absorbed by it's own orbit around doubt and certainty as they relate to freedom which has never existed and would be really really dumb to blame on one another     weather a billboard or a picket sign it reads the same  minor blues    about the weightlessness of desire  in the eyes of its object   Or something like it    A crisis of rumors resolved by all that they cover for   Should we trust our memories anymore? Just  yesterday we        All secrets are lazy ass evidence of things not seen but I seen it first       such a mean drummer       such that sin is redundant and safe from itself   I heard it said that the thrill of romance is only          another answer  for war of whatever the story needs at the time   bored with relevance    is a great place to re-enter a myth 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Beginnings, Intention, and Method ( A poem for happy black men who pretend to be you)

He contemplates the famous suicides like dice ride across a juvenile desk, maybe desperation but more likely vanity or fear of change and love of change and the way the word rampant always comes up in a tantrum about too much or never enough of a man. Then he loops the songs that are better than his own into a pool of longing just like his own and it isn't wrong to bleed but it isn't when either, he moans, a coarse and unknown volition to make any sound and be alone with it, choking down another lightsource like feminine type of going rogue I think it's called, hope I know it's a silent science but it never contemplates death for sympathy, it could never be that selfish or misled by itself. I've never met another black man more afraid of answering his own questions or more capable, maybe, maybe so. I've met so many lately and Edward Said, because we must deal with the unknown, traps it in the kind of thinking that feels like dreams and wishbone cracking just right to home, the foment of a field of fraying puzzles possessed by the will for completion until their very joining is tragic and clumsy cards falling out of a shady dealer's hand. I didn't have to be taught to panic when everything gets too calm, it just comes naturally like in the dream in which I saw his hands his hands were white, he had turned into a white man, when he looked in the mirror his hands were still black. Illusions are never that mysterious, the tension between the thing you know and thing you believe, so subtle it bleeds all over the truth. Finally, when there is no glamor and no gun in the contemplation, when the story is all in the eyes and in the art like a sad child who still knows how to play though, if you ask right— life is so easy, that's what makes it hard

Asking the right questions (2)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Black American Psycho (notes)

I'm never sober and you neither// go to grammar for sweetness or to be broken again/\ winter wore on me like a local kind of common ennui is a word I like to use for everything and entertaining/I remember the tender age when I thought making sense was important like if I could just tell my story my story will make sense and how I'm still that age now and how the adverbs break to be emphatic like a perfect woman contortionist I couldn't dance for another (groove is in the heart) and I learned how to swim by drowning and how to sin by winning just like you, nigga/

Damn if I'm not a telegram again, a thing to be said aloud and silently too, a kind of living utterance and so utterly all the jealous ones line up to tell me what I mean, and all the stops make broad fantasies like the widest street in the movie with the narrowest red wing of a car and Miles at the wheel charging himself with a kind of theft you only wish we would look more tortured when we ride off into the sunset
On the day you realize that the beast in you is alive again, having survived all of the cocktail parties and graduations, the advanced degrees and all of your artistic talent and all of your obsession with style and the Italian kind and the French kind and the African kind and the highball and the always be mine and the wise kind of malice that acts all friendly and gracious just to get to the way you act and break it and put it back together as the kind of desire to be who you are that we call blackness and are and as if all of our pathologies stem from love and maybe I'm finally blind enough to trust that again and every time I think a wimpy thought which I never do I want to apologize to my father and Amiri and hop on a plane to someplace where thinking and being are the same exact///change/  whatever it is that collapses as an attribution or rebirth when you learn with casual poise to disagree with yourself and become the classic I always knew you had it in you oh no you didn't diva of so what and I'd do it again too. When did it become ruthless to be yourself, suddenly I'm hugging Kanye West with wet eagles in my eyes and a tribal march barges onto the radio in token whispers. This wouldn't be the first time we re-invented god so many times he watches out like a nervous shepherd for the one runaway, the one even everyone can believe in

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Karma and Somebody

When my father got out of the army he'd been trained to sing and kill, as if those skills were interchangeable or all within the range of a proud and so american, hold up, what the fuck am I doing here kind of agreement and argument at the same / when my father got out and became somebody they came for him screaming his songs into dainty little campaign eruptions and such beautiful cars and subtle too like japan rouge. But he hid his deepest arrangements in the velvet gun case and blew them to pieces whenever anyone slick knocked on the door looking for— The popular shit is always the saddest phase of a black man's fame on film or radio. Savor that shit though. It means you're the absolute best and jest is everywhere and you've adjusted so rare and wholly like you were there already in your mind.