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?”)"

Fucking & Punching

FADE IN: INT. HONKY TONK MOTEL, BOILER ROOM - MIDNIGHT There is a fire that licks the bucket’s rim, There is a clunk in the copper pipes, There is a Frida forgotten in a river nameless, There is a con-man in my round yellow window, Swollen in my favorite chair, By the candle, he swells, … Continue reading Fucking & Punching

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.

Lines for the Widow

I seldom know the lines for the widow, You see, I am a poet, I see death every night, I die a little, others die in conclusion, And the sun comes up at half past four. Sometimes, I go for the jugular and squeeze, Other times, the war is extraordinary, Heaven opens a window, I … Continue reading Lines for the Widow

Summer from a Keyhole

Plot twist: Upon freeing windows, when one can finally stomach that light. Summer unhides such and such glories, Of Monarch butterflies with a taste for blood, Of the world fragranced as one remarkable ass-crack, Of excellent ugliness finding audacity in the sun, Of trembling rumps, smiling luvs, merciful nuns. Paper kites finally kiss the bay, … Continue reading Summer from a Keyhole

Faulkner Wrote Me

Chapter 1 Believe it, Faulkner wrote me, He asked for the heads of my sons. Not Aikel - ugly writer boy, Weakling and winner of one essay, Who rocks quietly in the dark, But the golden duo - Ukiah, and Lemai, Fetching. Lovers of new wine, Slaughterers of swine, betters of Aikel. Dandelion-haired in the … Continue reading Faulkner Wrote Me

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

Misery by Inches

I nod to the comrade in his ghastly green jacket, That wily New Yorker nod, He gets this respect Tight fish-eyes and all, But would not, for god, nod back, Not to a lesser man. Perhaps because finished souls have teeth sunken in an ending fraternity And this need not be broadcast In pulpits and … Continue reading Misery by Inches

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

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.

There is Melody in Hell After All

When you first see him, The large man in front of a focused crowd, With perfect teeth, Fists of limestone, And suspenders that stay put, You instantly think, He will never be the type to die for anything powerful, By anything powerful, And the steady noise in his corridors, And the rattle of silverware in … Continue reading There is Melody in Hell After All

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."

Hank, If Ever I Were A White Man

Twilight finds me a white man again, in a bit of a pickle. And in this painful occupation, In this second skin, In this adopted sepulchre of mine, If ever I prospered well at this classic treachery, As I do sometimes on my evening prowls on the fish market street, Where I finally become something … Continue reading Hank, If Ever I Were A White Man

I Once Saw a Man With the Face of a Wasp

I once saw a man, with the head of god, The voice of god. Fire in his eyes, eyes of god. Power in his tongue, tongue of god. The face of a wasp, This he owned well. The thump of speakers behind his head, A powerful sensation. Our very delight. The words in his sermon … Continue reading I Once Saw a Man With the Face of a Wasp