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].

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.

Dance, fool, dance

Jesus, the old lover whispers as I piss red, Parting the red seen in the cistern, And with his, I smell an editor's disgust, As I compose for that nice rot of fancy and glamor. Dance, fool, dance. And for good times, dance. When the stove is cold, Long shall the fool dance, Long shall … Continue reading Dance, fool, dance

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

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.

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

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

Unstirred

Damp curtains come under attack, Doors and windows volley free, Enter the tempest, enter the shadows. The clavicle hurts right before it rains, A bed of twisted wings, A halo now silver quick, Between the pillows and wounded sheets. Hair strand on toilet seat, Stray cats have moved in, Enter the madness, And the thick … Continue reading Unstirred

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

Men are Allowed to Cry

Men are allowed to cry. To leak into damp dreams, To long for the one never gotten, Hunt down the ones hardly so, And still smell the ceaseless vacancy, It’s all right to talk blades out of open wrists, And be finished in a quaking crowd. To be just drained enough, And still supply sound … Continue reading Men are Allowed to Cry

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