Cry, Brotha Cry

Cry, Brotha cry in that private retreat of alluvial heart. Where some turned diamonds, Some made the news, Some found chalk. Anger made a man of you. Butcher-knife to moods caged well for our benefit, Until the kettle whistles. Absent rhyme or reason, Your madness comes neat. Cry, Brotha cry You grab that filthy skin … Continue reading Cry, Brotha Cry

Fleurs du Mal

Enter: You with baptismals and living mothers, For whom the bells toll, At whom the crickets of the veldt titter, Even that swollen savage, fat in the Saharan sun, Even my father and his useless red-clay gods, Even the preacher on evening walks, Casting out a million cankerworms. Enter: Those never somethings, Those never nothings. … Continue reading Fleurs du Mal

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Watching Black Panther

On opening weekend, thirty-seven percent of North American movie goers will be African America [let’s just say Black]. Before today, fifteen percent had never bothered to see Marvel movies. Come rain, come shine. Why? Too white. A sprinkle of racism and white supremacy in real life, makes fantasy punishingly preposterous. “Black folks ain’t paying to underwrite and entertain their own systematic denigration.” Still, thirty-five percent will be unambiguously white. But who cares? I am African [Nigerian-rowdy]. Dressed in a leather jacket (I like to play it cool, under the radar. Ethnically-ambiguous). But by God it pleases me something fierce to see the world pay particular attention to Black Panther, to Africa, to topical stratums of the botched rapport between Africans (allegorically, this is T’Challa) and African Americans (Killmonger). Between Blacks and whites. Marvel and DC fanatics. And its all happening on the big screen, tonight. Post-colonization, post-slavery, post-exploitation, post-rapes, post-Tuskegee, post-Captain America, post- it all [insert all the hyphens you can fit into a Black Studies lecture class].

PoCo Theory: The Theorization of Fiction

"Fiction writing is not for its own sake, a past-time, as taking a knee before a game is not for a flattering camera angle. What good are you if your writing, in 2018, does not upset the digestion of the hegemony? There is also the other space: the la-di-da fiction writer as Novelist (not a simple position, but simple enough), protected by the fine sheen of commercialization to be bothered by literary criticisms, so that when invited to share their sagacity all they discuss is their most recent book, their rituals (“how many cups of coffees make one New York Times bestseller?”)"

Manus Interruptus

Boy, ask not what it be to be a man, Black, Here comes the white casket, an excellent fiction. Here comes the bastard in the story, The ballad man they called, Mr. Black F. Masculine, Seize a stool, boy, B. F. Masculine, will daze you.

Son of Ham

I care about echoes, karma, and the butterfly effect.I assume the worst of my best efforts,I care for eggs that don't hatch,For goldfish that move too fast, for people too kind.I care for what you think when I do all I have promised in haikus.I care if your death will be better than mine.I care that the eyes of the Devil are trained on the pulse of my aorta.I care … Continue reading Son of Ham

Women & Other Vitamins

The women are commas,
Apostrophes, question marks,
Ellipses, exclamations,
Brackets, bullets,
Vowels, consonants,
Virgins, widows,
Bandages, electric eels,
Spices, months of the year,
Deja vu's, the Fibonacci sequence.

North of Naught

And the baobad and its sparrows, And the feminists and her riots, And the books and its fuse, And the pope and his flask, And the king and our daughters, And the fire and the cornfields, And the market and the pickpockets, And 72 virgins for the terrorists, And the mistress and my bastard, And … Continue reading North of Naught

Rats & Gypsies

New York is something, taken with a broken heart,she whispers. Falsetto whistle in her gullet. Medals in tobacco teeth. Fingernails of lost boys etched on her face. The bruja woman owns a marble eye. We are rats, she swears. Fucking rats and gypsies, Dogshit sniffing dogshit. Hacks. Except you. No, not you. I smile. I … Continue reading Rats & Gypsies

To Abide a Good Wife

Miracle if she knows, That I stole a bad dosage of that taboo sex, With a manic bisexual minx and her silver tools. I wonder if her stainless beak can smell that psychosis, The malady represented, The semblance of things done to me, for me, By a woman ambitious, A woman taking initiative, A woman … Continue reading To Abide a Good Wife

The Girl Who Smokes by the Bay Window

The girl who smokes by the bay window. Excellent kneecaps disturb dead clouds, Black birds fly clean through her head. "How'd I do now?" I demand. She smiles. Little button teeth through puerile smoke, She's going to give all this Brooklyn some cancer, "You're a'ight Mr. Nigerian Man, just a'ight." "I told you I found … Continue reading The Girl Who Smokes by the Bay Window

America in a Brochure

Americans constipated across state-lines, Red-eyed men with dog-tags and paper roofs, Men missing teeth, with limestone bunions, Women and tangled spawns bent under the constant humility of immigration, Lurking along the damp edges of this fine America. Welcome. Fresh Africans sprinkled in Galveston alleys, Like broken glass on Saturday walkways, It was the absence of kindly lack, That did … Continue reading America in a Brochure

Little Black Boys

I caress the battle scars of your open city,
Moping faces turn concrete,
People nursing little disgusts,
Little sicknesses, little envies.
People forcing God to bend this way,
People doing yesterday things in tomorrow ways.

Little Red Doors

On a street of red doors, I am a red one. See what you will, Try that you try. I will always be both ends Of a solitary shooting star. One fine end will slice thru god’s sides. The other will betray The trimmings of a lifelong lie, That I was all right in the … Continue reading Little Red Doors

American Twang

And for this,
At the end of another donkey day,
My next fight with a blond mistress,
Will transpire in the wee small hours of Tuesday,
Her ignorance impenetrable,
Of the things I have stuck up my business end
And this will be profound satisfying.

Last I Heard, He Found Jesus

Wonderful evil smiled in the wreathe-framed picture on a
tripod next to the holy water,
And the sun was partly on his brow and beard,
his master eulogy was a song of waterworks and a choral piece
from the admirers of death.

Voodoo Child

Voodoo Child is playing on the radio, This Benjamin Sainte-Clementine lad cries out in broken notes, A Jimmy Hendrix cover done some final justice, Quick violent tunes, By a soulful dark man from Edmonton. Strange verses from a wicked street in his memory. Stick fingers plunking out deep dark secrets from piano keys, Bare black … Continue reading Voodoo Child

After a While, We See It

"The boat spews its affliction,
Many of them in colorful buoys,
Of Kobane Syrian women in damp burqas,
Of Olden women clutching prayer beads,
And Pakistani men with little pride,
And little girls with pink backpacks uprooted from sleep,
Another boy, recently broken, is lifeless, purple-lipped."