"Its Babies From," "Afro-Nowism," "Ain't Over" and "Future Primitive"

Its Babies From

who here remains who never rose wild
                             from captive sleep
                             which traps
                             hope in dreams?

whose vision is anything less than a weed?

*

to make the fairytale complete,
              there must be a sacrifice.

so,
              how would your personality type
              respond to
                                          questions
                                          prayers
                                          begging
                                                          about such topics as:
                                                                                                      the afterlife
                                                                                                      artificial intelligence
                                                                                                      UFOs
                                                                                                      sasquatch
                                                                                                      world history
                                                                                                      erectile dysfunction
                                                                                                      menopause
                                                                                                      natural disasters
                                                                                                      quantum mechanics
                                                                                                      time travel

?

the answers remain mute
               on hero and villain’s lips.

*

when the townspeople awoke
               there were only the remnants
                              of a town.

roses burnt to grey origami replicas of flowers.

weeds seared.
              dragon guano
              high as a barrel
               of gin.

*

in sleep, the cityfolk
               were American prophets
predicting
               downfall and coming to
               infinite solutions.

at rest, the heart took the soul
               across astral planes
with silver chord spun out from a silkworm’s
               body at peace.

the navel was a wormhole.
genitalia were erased
               into a singularity
               only known by angels.

*

maybe you’ve forgotten
               but the night
also has its bright days.

*

one day the stars inside will set supernova to our naïve skins

*

the telephone will be wounded with regrets
and won’t take back what was said before shame set in
became a part of our sunspots,
                              our freckles –
                                            same thing.

*

there’s a woodpile
and an electric switch
               to connect lands
                              -DMZ-
between
               bedtime stories and the everyday
                              -

if it’s mundane
this is only the détente

*

on the back of the shadow-mouse
are the answers
to everybody’s fate.

if you can catch it
in the corner of your eye long enough
you can be your own oracle
but with more accuracy.

every doubt that slides by
               comes with a code.

the fairytales spoke in hints
               that parents
               wanted to put together

but couldn’t.

once the nest was full,
               civility set in.

the wilderness that was left in them
               was not enough
               to carry rose petals to
               the tops of beanstalks
where
               Loch Ness gets its babies from.

 


 

Afro-Nowism For When The Future Feels Too Far Away

now as much as ever we need space even more.

steel and superpowers.
we been magical
but sorcercery hasn’t been enough.
*
oh lawd, can a nigga get a force field!
*
let’s talk that real pillow talk
holding onto hope
when thoughts and prayers have failed

let’s snuggle up into cybernetic fantasies of nanotech
smarter than the biology of fingers
and tin of badges
*
oh jesus, how much stronger we got to get?
*
whom does the singularity include?
*
why couldn’t creation have just been a myth?

electric memories keep eyes lit
all night long computing
while chains keep bodies in place,
while cells provide shelter
when the streets fill up with the phobia generations in the making.
so long in the making time travel has more dangers
than the edge of the universe.
*
send thoughts and prayers to parallel dimensions.
maybe they’ll be of some use there.
*
maybe the horizon holds another event
the roads of this dystopia
have yet to find.
*
what good are the pistons without the gas and the grease?
what’s a mission mean
as acid rain tears at the hood
revealing rust and the algorithms
of a nation
forcing you to drive onward?
*
what’s left?
what else is there when only space seems safe?
when to leave is the best defense?
because to stay is conflict.
everyday is a casualty.
the struggle is actually an assault.

 


 

Ain't Over

been wrong before. thought maybe everything was all good now.
slept through Pride. laughed about it.
                        snored while a parade was marching through
                                   my upstate neighborhood.

.

just another saturday. watched some bands. had a lot of drinks.
            laughed.
                        #pridemonth, the hashtag punchline
to so many jokes.

we made it. round here who isn’t queer. 
            rainbows are everywhere.
it’s been pink triangles long as I can remember
            on lark st.

.

waking up phone in hand ready to laugh some more
            only to find out how 20 became 49
and more in hospital beds
            Orlando asking for blood
but what could we do all the way up here?

lit candles and looked around.
saw what we looked like
saw each other as family
            when other sundays we were
            calling each other ‘bitch’ over brunch

.

so wrong.
faggots, dykes and trannies.
it was back to that.

or maybe that’s all it ever was.
certainly there were the comments at work,
            on the bus,
but they were just talking
            but . . . but . . .
but this time it was more. thoughts were loaded into a gun
            that left us speechless
                        until words were all we had.

we had calls to make and texts to send, messages to read.

.

who was OK?
who was alright?
how were we supposed to move on?
            were we supposed to care
            about whether other or not others cared about us
                        or was this just a time about us?
about us queers, maricones and batty boys
            crossdressed, in make-up , letting hair grow long
                        and those butches who ain’t got no eyes
                                   for no man

if this was . . .  would more people be talking about it?
            if this was . . . would this change . . .?

been vocal. been quiet. been reading. been thinking. been listening.
            tears in eyes with visions of brown bodies
                        laid out on the dance floor
                          as phones ring out
            and alcohol mixes with guts and glass.

tried not to be too raw but reminded myself not to diminish what happened.
            to keep this reality close to my skin
to remember I was wrong. our pride still comes at a cost.

 


 

Future Primitive

 

if not a city then a gathering

           always was the desire

 

to be with and among

                      as

           also with words

                      given from bards,

                                 jesters

 

for crystallization in/on forms

                      for time

                      to safe keep

                                            whole

while the spoken

                      tongue

           of epic parents

carry on through children

                      altering

           each tale as it’s

           being told

 

the paleolith lives

           under new looks

 

           *breathe*

           *dissolve*

 

allude                        elude

           illusions

           divisions

class(ic) structurings

 

air       earth    water   fire

                                 space

                                 heart

           spirit

                      seed

                                 pit

                                 slick from fruit

flying away

                      nut opened

                                 for

                      revelation

                      of known treasure

neither rare nor secretive

           but guarded

 

           in hardness

           by time

                      nature

           hand in hand

                      represented

                      in

           flat face

                      of clock

 

whispering in ticks

           then

           digital age

 

said no voice

           no arms

           only signs

to connect to thought

 

axe handle feels far off

           as a new axe handle

is being crafted

 

           the model

           the pattern

 

           is not as close as methods

           and tools change

           to create

           old tools for old jobs

 

yet

           necessity

           proceeds         precedes

                      endures

 

cast and recast continually

the future is primitive

Kenyatta JP Garcia

Kenyatta JP Garcia is the author of This Sentimental Education, ROBOT and Yawning on the Sands. They are originally from Brooklyn but currently reside in Albany, New York. They have a degree in linguistics and spent a dozen years as a cook. Now, they spend their nights putting boxes on shelves and their days reading comic books and writing poetry.

 

 

Edited for Unlikely by Rosalyn Spencer, #BlackArtMatters Guest Editor