Wednesday, April 30, 2014

When war was easy

Their reasons must then have been overwhelming for them to suddenly seize the guns and shoot steadily, in the night, at those soldiers who for two years thought that war was easy.

Monday, April 28, 2014


We turned ourselves inside out like the word Alabama
I didn't realize until now what a beautiful word Alabama is.

I see the lamb in there and my mamma's planet earth/ the soul, the land's whole alibi for gold and Lincoln and certain blacks can climb so high just for the chance to sit around sucking on ice with the ease of nightmares and neighborhoods

I who fetishize everything, even my own pride seen from the outside as eager reluctance or luck

or the clutter between brass and flags (it's been the greatest thing! as far as propaganda for our country, to send blacks over to europe to play Jazz), sound bitten and bleeding its aggregate of grips on the township, township.

I didn't realize until now how the Internet is full of photos of the open caskets of risen black heroes, from Billie Holiday to Emmett Till to Michael, and if you type in the happiest euphemism they beg reminiscence once a week on Sunday like the chubby newspaper full of nobody's business, I search for a song or a petty duet that might have been like Miles and Hendrix, so bored with my own obsessions they pretend to disappear into their opposites. The imaginative voyeur begins to accumulate evanescent events that no tangible reality can reverse or deny and I wonder how many memories are willfully trapped in creases like these, pressed against the stained glass window of a church right at the nape of some saint's skirt while a room full of orphans trade weightless information like fugitives.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Baudelaire's Niggas

He found me in a brothel singing a gospel about my opium habit and tried to train me as his domestic.  What a sad pack of roses, what a meaningless resistance to rhyme. I began to cook him fixes until he was hooked on evaluation, was I good or bad, white or black, god or got, in love or in my sin. I told him I wanted a record deal and he beat my jaw sealed, cured me of my habit. Now I  tan my bruises well, whisper squares into the afternoon sand and wait for them to disappear in the darting glance of some genteel pimp intelligent enough to pretend alienation until I abuse him like a scared mother having just realized I've been there before and can finally leave. This is me, performing freedom in a blank/dark room with taps on my shoes, now you listen, now you grab the gospel by the habit and let it guide you like this rigged innocence, all mine and jacked up as minor blues. For kicks, I record the sound of myself walking across that pitch dark stage in taps, to loop it, all my life, a cheerful light in the invisible, this is what the cure sounds like from here, this is the water hugging my tiny ankles like nerves that never thought they'd get outside to see the world and when they finally do, march on you like gossip and back away, like gossip. God got to be a rumor too, a murmur in blackface speaking savior's French to the damned until they couldn't help but fulfill their deepest fantasies, and change.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014


Othello's black,
like the jive spirituals I gyrate to in rehearsal for god bless the child (didn't my lord deliver ... and a woman for every man) and my church in neon lights which buzz and crackle dissatisfied slang for sadness, they know, spill the crisis onto some other spring and wait to learn how lazy cynicism shows up as his white-like mistress praying for a scene

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Close Opposites

The last time I was this numb
 my father died
And I fell in love with the child everyone
thought I was
stern and playful / addicted
to grapes and language and halfway
between saved and devastated I spotted a sign for sainthood,
said it'll just take one more miracle
to become a saint, I
tried to show my mother but she couldn't see it and wondered if I wasn't
standing in the way of my own miracle like the petty
thief the cops finally chase down just to say
good work this is how
tv discovers the black man
and turns him to sambo and back

The last time I felt this candid
I was fucking my enemy and pretending
to like it
You wouldn't believe the way the truth teaches me to write
Like Capote or Baldwin, in cold blood and pinstripes
my real fantasies finally visible enough to transcend or at least transfer— traded with the ease of nightmares for a title I can fear in daylight
mistress or situationist, this skill for getting in the middle called
lies to itself about the value of otherwise

This time, the mirror in my mind is a character
up there playing the drums a crying.
When you clap he hides behind the cymbals
in a fur coat and dark shades,
when you moan he gets paid
to moan in reverse
and his gritty laughter is the politics of the future
the kind of nurturing abuse our fathers' names go numb to master
the kind so close to love it shudders like a broken door waiting to be knocked shut

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Commercial for Big Teeth

I want the lowdown sonsofbitches who betray me to know I'm on them like a fly on shit and not broken by privilege, but my solution is to sabotage discretely, coming up, after this break, why we're taking it I still don't know —Mingus between sets

Thursday, April 17, 2014


When I could finally watch my pleasures and my fears coincide, I understood there's no such thing as a man. Manhood is our favorite lie.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

About two things

The Black Entertainer's Addiction Blues

The cause was heart failure, his dealer said in a monotone, bypassing the dreary eyes of his high yellow woman to address the electricity of these detached reporters. Many were playable like a record short a few rivets, lifted from their paper stacks by lackluster fixations on black magic and primal elegance. Looking for some jazz pathos. Dressed in squares and matchboxes for shoes, roses coming out of their microphones as though their aires are gravesites or battered wives on the comeback days, glaring at their shame, their shield form, how the inquisition parodies the first-garden-sin and all, even when I don't believe in sin and I am / coming into this beauty predicated on the unbelievable. He knew more about sheep that anybody, the dealer added. Maybe he's gone back to his boyhood home. He had planned to leave his family for a life of monastic hedonism in Morocco. He thought that would better than the yuppie hedonism over here with them. And that he'd return like a negro Ulysses, finally free of the consequences of blackness besides invisibility and hyper-visibility and fear of trees/ addiction to trees, my greatest joy is everything!, he'll exclaim at last, at least everything! And he'll exude a new kind of manhood, a kind of accumulation of the opposite of memory, a panicked salvation he knows can't last without a new myth. A numb alertness he will reject for the addiction that just killed him because life is eternal and karma is will and will is belief and your beliefs are generally exactly wrong, all the way down to the way your name sounds in a tunnel or when Monk plays Duke Ellington's, I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart and the regret feels wise instead of pathetic. This is a piece called Vigil. It's filled with taxidermy eyes and immaterial situations that look like the plastic rosary beads of god hungry reporters who need you to be a little bit more or less tragic and as black as your honey habit, half-hearted, raise your hand if you blame black angels. Trophy wives are important to the secrecy because they threaten it just enough, just like blame does, by traveling the radical color of our slowest needs. This is the barbershop mirror. This is a piece called It all got good. The sequence fears being too predictable so the barber and the reporters switch cadences and then cause and the effect are one like in fake love coming true, all it takes is a mirror/ stage and a play gun that's actually a wallet. Who would you be if you did not believe in death? The widow interrupts. Running out of patience. Running and numb. Looking to avenge her numbness with the scandal of her disbelief. That about does it, the dealer concludes, meaning business.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Karma in the mirror

It's as if the killed are still alive, more alive than anything, slaves to forever living in the grasping lore of their final gestures of surrender and— I mean the people like Martin, Malcolm, and Kennedy, and the synapses they blend, the morbidity they solve for glory in a matter of hurried will. Death is like orgasm that way, why they equate them in French as petit mort, why they are able to make peace with eternity over there, it's as if no one trembles in Paris but everyone is shook. I woke up weeping, maybe a child in my womb maybe just will and idea in love inside me, in a room with a view, through the eyes of a man, I'm trying to see myself as true and that helps me understand what truth means to a man. Something you leave to get to. I congratulate myself again. The more I integrate my conscious and subconscious minds the less paranoid I am. How can you be afraid of the shadow you prayed awake, the human race begs itself to wake up and answers with self-destruction, as if the only way we trust ourselves is ruined and remade. Less and less paranoid because we are a cycle so common we seem linear and clean. And the sniper up there on her perch is just the wife or fiancé of some man I loved and left with to prove it. It didn't matter to me that he was married, or a belonging. Love is the law we all follow or perish, that matters to me, the following eyes of even the most erratic duty are laced with streams of love. There are only a couple and it'll happen again. I only love the one and it happens again and again. Damage begs for repair or referendum more than anything thought can hem. I want to tell them it was an act of generosity, that running isn't abstract, that this is their chance to run, everyone's, become a lonely woman who broke the trance of living life without taking any chances and is ecstatic even if forlorn on tuesdays, awake on Mars like saviors and addicts are awake on starlight. A hero. Am I the only one. What is a chance though, a split second of honesty these days and the world closes in on itself like a mirror.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Propaganda and Promises

No way am I ever gonna talk like that

Pulling forgiveness out of thin air

For you who do all sorts of things
when nothing's there to stop you

Friday, April 11, 2014

The non-thought of received ideas

A man who loses his privacy loses everything. A man who gives it up of his own free will is a monster.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Keep America Beautiful

Even the streetcars, including the heart, including the mind, including the nigga, yours and mine , who catches me wondering if male slaves were raped too, and points to a tattoo on the nape of his wrist, a droopy name I can't make out or distort besides that silence is another kind of yes in dreamtime or during a movie that just isn't sad enough to be true we got up and slow danced for a while, fell asleep in the shadows the picture made on the glass wall and dreaming of all the violence done one another in past lives, like bleeding, the dreams felt like bleeding the crimes clean and cosmic in their distance from the imagination they invented the imagination, then dispatched it to limbo where it waits for an ego and a form to hide in, to revelation, even a wish masquerading as a lie would be better than a bad movie. And when the light in me grows apologetic this way, I know better than to come any closer but I know not to move either. Frozen in the stance of a question like prey or almost-guilt in two directions at once we became that naive braid of American laziness: wonder, and not even shy enough to call ourselves propaganda anymore 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Where blackness fits on the hierarchy of needs / take care of everything

And I feel like a million blacks


from the police 

could really spark the revolution just by turning around, running in the opposite direction, call it a stampede or Truth and Reconciliation or how the phrase we don't need no made Pink Floyd all that currency and comes from our sho nuff grammar of the plantation/ handcuff fitting your man better than any wedding ring ever did. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Private Speech

My mother's dissipated in me, let's say, though it is untrue and lazy like a blue video on the shoulder of a midnight room in the red light looming, peeking through corners and stray headlights from the almost vacant highway, a trucker and my one true love, and the word you expect protects the unexpected like a healer or fate in a pleasant mood or the proven libido—I stepped into a ray of duty so wide it is a childhood. She leaped into a prayer so large it was a sacrifice. If I have outlasted my desire thus far, it is a practice / bringing me so near to my past, I am a myth. In the Latin myth means authoritative speech, the kind meant to silence women in the process of our transformations. We're allowed to announce only our victimhood and our motherhood, and the way they intertwine to make us petty and finite. But what if I said

He is flying blind and I am


behind him

Instead of the settled retrospect of how


As a child, I felt myself alone and I am still, because I know things and must hint at things which others apparently know nothing of and for the most part do not want to know.


And I keep catching up with my vision just as the vision changes. But I am flying high and he is right behind me.  It is important to have a secret. A man who has never experienced this has missed something important. And shame is finally excluded from the process of revival, an exclusion upon which everything depends

Monday, April 7, 2014


Without contradictions, a stiff speaker pressed against the womb to soothe the life in there, the brief flash of every likelihood packed in there like our father's character/glass house of ours, rechargeable body. To see me is to see the father, someone chanted, begging to be born. My excuse works in every direction and I no longer need it. If love will mute the myth then that must be its meaning. If all the riddles fall out laughing / miming/ I thought I told you that we won't stop, and we wind up on a yacht somewhere wearing white bikinis in a video about the business,

Saturday, April 5, 2014

We made our own minstrel show

Save us.

To the tone of Coltrane's Alabama. Let no alibi slide by like a lamb in tribal paints or a candid haint running alone on train tracks that real living humans can notice and act upon    unstrike their poses to run from     Save us.

Then I tried to write about my craving for watermelon like it was lie. When that went idle I wrote a ballet for naked dancers in a plexigrass field of mirror stages and they sat in a fractal and ate whole watermelons for the first 2 minutes while the audience looked on, waiting and craving a taste. Then the only woman in the ensemble rose, spun on her axis like a desert rose for a few glad bars, pulled an axe-looking instrument out from her harness and slayed the casual chicken who had been traipsing around on the stage just signifying blackness and pretty blood collapsed into a pattern that resembled the closing curtain.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Segregation (glorified)

Having almost lost track of the difference between pleasure and pain, the niggas went crazy and voted. Pleasure is when you're white and pain is when you're black, the kids agreed unanimously. And they can flip like golden eagles on the ledge of their desire for stillness/ while in flight I crave this stillness. When all pleasure felt phony I knew I understood pleasure, I knew I was the black lust and white attitude toward it struggling to mean one another. And panic if you float in the space between. And vote for me.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A season ahead

I was trying to run through the literal to the imaginative. The controversy was how the literal got so jealous it re-imagined itself as real. My father said after he learned to read he was in constant agony. You mean god is as unreasonable as me, breaking his own rules every other dream. He walked around suicidal thinking he was a killer. Blamed his father who blamed his father who blamed the boat named after sugar and nobody, Jones or Smith or we the people sinking in, becoming the land and its self-nullification. Nina Simone said if she'd had her way she'd have been a killer. And can you blame her. And would you join her and my father at the microphone, they're about sing a duet about the way the heart sweats out the mind as what we call death, how they came back literate and ready.

I'm interested in blood the same way I'm interested in learning to read except I've always been told there's some inherent value in being happy and now I wonder if knowing the distance it creates between me and you is why I finally am.