Thursday, May 31, 2018

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Black Spring: A Looter’s Paradise

Papa   the hot  simplicity  is crazy  in East St. Louis       the hamlet the brigade    these damn mittens dangling  from a stainless steel fan    and Ali’s championship gloves lit    up by the haitian bombs when we were just dancing   words spared by the tom toms except the speed of his  injury is jazz a lazy lexical disaster pace  we call that riot now the only retail left is    the laundromat and no one will come clean again and the   hunters on the rooftops are my fathers and the catch  is the inertia of their sorrow with his free hand he’s nibbling  a soda cracker to stave the nausea the noosed intentions with my answers     I’m sitting here in copper chokers asking a ghost if he believes in ghosts    because nobody can say no to me this summer nobody can say the large red  grocery is worth saving nobody can have the gloves and leave the glory  nobody’s father is a lot of rooftops and freedom of information acts later called    a hero for knowing when to run

Mine   is though        
That   mine was  finna blow   
Who was that mine finna blow   high with my glimmering overture
A hassle of   light gone still  as a hex severed to  sharp as
a natural star

And  everyone  was cheering/  kept asking    
who’s next who’s  next

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Friday, May 25, 2018

Black Spring: Social Incident

Save him, absurdly       say it’s me drowning      the latest or is it the   new voice recognition devices can  detect mood and play depeche mode more than   soft radio and he fell down the steps to  tell me so heckle the revolution’s yellow freckle  faced woman about why she hasn’t sold her confusing  beauty for freedom to which she replies that’s your confusion      and my double face my Janus my cambodia my way of being  inappropriate is to keep it for myself in America to not give it up so  easily to obsess privately or not at all be James Dean or not   listening two astronaut statues pressed to my ears while I sing   Malcolm’s Valentine

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Girl 61

The  leash   gold plated      around a case  of Colt 45 and we dragged the gravel  from Tiger Rag to Durag at the museum to give  it drum and summer’s hand while Redd Foxx is     squinting Sanford in his junkyard curses hubcaps      and Gary Coleman keeps tackling the same Adidas thief in the   Fox Hills Mall parking lot but you are the last child star      to ride dialect sweetly and keep your wardrobe of snipers and    snow ethically sourced from newsprint speeches and abandoned rose quartz    mines
we   can upend    a rarer crystal   over it
    we can    tear a viande factory   to bits
                                                   and call your number where it is in the IChing     to the task of truth of singing fasting and prayer         in a reasonable low and don’t you wanna lash out    and seduce someone aloof with me and August Wilson won’t   you come back mouth full of silk and

hacking   chains

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Free White and Twenty One

During slavery, the children with white mothers and black fathers were often killed. The children with white fathers and black mothers were often raised in the house if they appeared pale enough to pass for nothing, subtle ghosts of confederate lust. A constant reminder of his failure to please his wife or distract his daughter enough to deliver her from the temptation to mate with a black man and enjoy it, such a blow to the ego and the power structure on plantations was dangerous, and what if the child was beautiful too, and smart in new ways. How much blasphemy was safe in an atmosphere where rebellion was always a notion away. But dressed in a white man’s name and DNA, a child born of either elicit desire or casual rape, as long it was the white man’s choice, was safe, spared, helped remind everyone of his terror and terrible lure. Under that disastrous social contract, I might have been some kind of animal sacrifice. Centuries later when my grandparents who had sent my mother to catholic school her whole life and are strict catholics themselves for the most part, decided sin could make an exception and suggested my mother have an abortion when she was pregnant with me, a white woman pregnant with a black man’s child, nothing had really moved in the collective consciousness but the rule of law.  To condemn a parent’s rebellion on one level and cherish it on another is the sacred hypocrisy of genetics, we grow out of it, become whole. So when account for my mother as satire I also count her as accidental saint, fellow runner. There are so many ways to run away from home and in saying no to that abortion my mother, free, white, and twenty one in Iowa, became an underexamined form of fugitive, a fugitive’s understudy, a white woman trafficking blackness, and I got to live. God Bless America.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Monday, May 14, 2018

Black Spring: Or Nah?

It’s  the beginning of begetting;  all our symbols are speaking    double talk. The caustic swirl   of it favors misfits for translation   and I am very harrowing and beget the insistent   ghetto of overcoming, turning rogue as Rich Manhattan.   Hold up, remember him? He wore a conk on campus in the two thousands   and walked like a nigga ballerina and called Homer’s Iliad numb emergency    number one in lecture that day and I could feel him protecting me just by existing     I laughed as we were both exiled from Greece by the cokehead professor no one can ever fire, not even Persephone.   We were a sight to behold, all of the black beauty and trauma quietly locking bicycles to starving trees   with the rest of the elite slobs of opportunity, we were walking brass ladders. What happened to Rich Manhattan?  That was his name then. That was his name. That was a black man’s name in Americanism. Respiration shuffle, no rage where there is style. We  are the floating graves of your cities and finding begets needing even though we don’t want you no more. That night we listened to Al Green   together and pretended Berkeley was the Savoy and gave up soy and gave up rhetoric and gave up gatorade and gave up rome and gave up noses and just laughed   as the smoke dripped from our hair with the histrionic intensity of their branding irons

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Black Spring: Ceiling Fan Scream

It’s Juneteenth     the paper plane landed  on the fan blade and scratched  the air for hours, what balance between confession and surrendor! The tiger  or the clown is cringing and I’m  never again contemplating Moby Dick the  ocean goes to the soda crackers and sharks, all  our roads are rivers. I want it to mean evolution but   there’s something chemical about the spinning plateau and   did I kill him or row him to shore I do not know    I just don’t know What I’m sure of: there’s nothing more upsetting than   a dark room lit by the aquamarine glow of a flickering television   there’s nothing I dread more that too much accountability in black  America just let us be evil-valuable my picture is on the evening news but    with a straight perm wig, snatched, and freckles jammed onto my cheekbones with  brown eyeliner they’re calling it a manhunt I laugh and the room goes dark   with my innocence and the spirits are a sway of pitchers playing catch in a cornfield  the slap of leather on leather a drum he’s over there mosquito on a street lamp            begging please will I clap him into smithereens and watch some housewives meet for cocktails to take the  edge off

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Black Spring : When

The clock is not time, fool. And they sing their pathologies like oaths, though obedience is not virtue. Haven’t we obeyed the evil beyond saving for long enough, chased the devil’s leaf and called arriving luck. A volta this season. A whole double-blind nearing. She is a genius. He is a witch. What if. And it is so. Adjusted. We all had to. A man is not a clock, love. Had to clock him and run, tuff. But somehow in the photograph I was one with black eyes. Now I understand the meaning of childhood. And the difference between compassion and the imagination. When I think of that girl, me, she vanquishes everyone and feels no pain, I cannot imagine pain toward her, only the dance of it, the soft wince, the body making its muted mouth shape and then limp retaliation before regenerative collapse. But when I lend her compassion, the same girl, I see the bloody grill and black eyes blooming purple as she swings at the mostors of paradise, amethyst knuckles, brash smile,  laughing at them for being as stiff as minute hands in the hour of parting, teasing them for feeling valid in their former dominance, whatchu thought this was,  loving them for their impotence without it, the machine I mean, the state, she struts to their broken fate in naked lace and suede, just cause I don’t eat it, doesn’t mean I won’t kill it if it steps to me rough and wilting    adorn its resting place in the stage of poplar from which  we became so popular for turning new colors into sorrel and  song and counting the days by how large a batch we we made from light   to light I swung like xanax , landed on the eighth note of    tomorrow: time travel as easy as doing what you came to do  when you came to do it which is always now     

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Excerpts from the Firebird/ In search of black spring

Photographs of black women standing alone in nature, or the polluted centers of parking garages, or the pristine gottied feeling of roman arches, or in egypt or wherever black women are sold, are beginning to give me obscene pleasure, as if we’re safest in those tropical solos of the calloused heel seeping out our gazes in relaxed with-teeth smiles. Calm down, sorrow. And when I climb my shallow hill first thing in the morning and stand alone before the arbor of stinging beetles, a silent sacrifice, eternal, I feel safer in the practical burst of wind and abandonment, my choice this time,  than in any man’s arms, safer than I’ve ever been from the swarm. So safe I could scream and he’d be born.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Inaction is brutality

When the slanted cape of an oasis of gurus trapped in the desert  sets up its kite of suitors are you ready to fly ‘way home?

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Teddy Perkins as a Girl

I don’t remember why exactly, I was on a killing spree, why I shot him the back after telling him to run. When someone gives me flowers I keep them until they turn into dust, I half-whispered, and nudged the trigger like a friend I hoped would stay for one last drink. Hope is crazier than revenge, but braver. Bravery is feminine revenge, I chanted, as I shot the last minstrel and left him in Bel-Air as bait and baby daddy. Sun Ra’s  I’ll Wait for You was playing its dazed romance of omens blinking in a rhythm with the shepherd of shadows our bodies danced against the wall. Outside it was 73 degrees and an easy low yellow, the frown of the palm-clowns melting into whistle. It started as self-defense, the planter who called himself massah had forced himself on me so many times I finally snapped and took him out. It was so sad and so satisfying and then I had the whole house to myself and no one left to blame so I started a small band of former slaves, music men, but they all wanted the same thing, fame and fortune, me for a mistress and a doomed mother, and to dance on big stages for all their former massahs and call that revenge, healing, integration. And every time they got what they wanted they’d come back drunk and high and with a group of white women and forget how the play the blues and forget how to improvise. Only the blind black men survived   American promise. As black women, we had to disguise our near constant rescue mission as small daily acts shaking that ass, moaning, wearing khaki and sequins, making the kitchen smell like forgiveness. This freedom shit was more and more of a menace, our men were turning into broken children and we were becoming angry gods. I’d been trained as a classical ballerina as part of the perks of my role as massah’s sometime-muse, but it was more like the men in the band wanted me to spread across the instrument naked while they stomped out the spiders of their minds and I was one, underfoot, they never asked me to play, never ask what the confederate ghosts told me about the stark noteless hymns of their rallies. Lately, the broad edge silly smiles of the ones who come home at dawn looking for grits and asking me to grease their scalps, don’t seem like the mercy of surprises they used to be. And the Julius Eastman refrain came true, I am playing all of these niggas. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for love.