What an experiment it was!
            But the art of improv is lost
            for drum and fife
            the song of sparrows swamped
            by the sound of goose-step

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You, volunteer:
You know the difference
Between cause and effect:
The people on the street
Are too stupid to have homes
Too filthy to wash

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we’re cycling & recycling as fast as we can but can’t get there in time
for the job, the damaged free stuff, the barbed assignation,
and usually need to replace something by the time we get home—
a tire, a lens, an ankle.

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Tell us though
of unquestioning apartheid,
of segregation,
of that being-according-to-what-you-are-not
           and of how-you-may-be-defined,

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I sense my grandmothers.
I am now the age
they always seemed to be
with stern blood understanding
once removed from the sting of judgment.

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to shatter 
and shove
black reptilian oaths
vowed in penthouse palaces
back up their 
vile asses

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This flower was labeled Whitey;
this flower was marked Nigga Lover.
     Is she still alive?
     Didn’t he pass recently?
     Was it in the paper?

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Somewhere in our body
there is an alarm, an alert thermostat
sending its pulsations, something that says:
NOW!

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There’s something straining us. Since birth we praised
his lineage, put wealth at his command,
and hubris has obeyed. He lifts his hand,
the throngs align, his inner organs raised

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eyes stop still restrict
movement take midol
the red daze haze of sleep
she wants to fuck and fuck
and fuck and fuck
makes no gentle

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it is not yet complete:
some of us are still here, webbed with
confused winds, the dirt below us
cold, moving in new directions.
we notice all fall down quicker than before,

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The girl in the picture starts to twitch
There is a movement beneath her left tit
The poster flicks from the wall a bit
Two apprentices notice

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i listen to the impatient dead
who never existed, however much
i wish they had lived their absence

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I’ll return as Queen of Sheba, or a vampire, or a reiver,
or a saint who cures the nouveaux riches, a wondrous, wealthy soul.
Yes, you see, I’ve found my niche, to preach and prosper, marvelous goal!
(Pills I took just took their toll.)

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Ohhhh do it. Worldwide. Uhhuh uhhuh uhhuh. Telecommunications. Uhhuh uhhuh. Telecommunication link link ahh up links ooohhhhh telecommute me it's so. Spectacular cash award for your yesyes unparalleled investment protections. Oh christ yeah. Pure cash. Yeah it's so good to uh uh cash me cash me in.

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Now I’m walking the levee
Amongst meth head zombies

When a raccoon reminds me
​To keep my hand on my knife.

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you cozy up to anyone
stepping off a freight train
with a patch above their hearts

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Repulsed,
I read his essay
about why it’s unnatural
for gays to marry, red pen poised.  I am not
neutral, not objective.  Speech is free, but so is judgment.

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…death’s heads some absence here or of what sensed in outstretched limbs a broken jawline’s exigency/ stone winds resurgence ever where nothing of reeks blind taste some solace no return again begin again/ in wind’s reveal of collapse bitten as if to cherish pummeling absurdly lock associative/ till skull skinned screaming in an abort of flame settling into ash...

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Ghosts come calling. Fill your voice mail,
search you out in want ads, bloat your belly
all night with confusions of 0s and 1s.
​Indecipherable guilt leaking into the lines. 

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assistance     gone     alone with both     lonely     days without     both fluish angry needing   not
their fault     hungry   homework     nights without    can’t sleep, doesn’t      doctor says just one
pill per     small hands stretching, reaching     must watch them closely   always       loads of
laundry   hungry   exhaustion     just one pill     bedwetting wakes older   regression   consoling

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Many of you have already been taken,
some of us anticipate the slack whoosh and hum

that signal alien arrival above just-cut crop circles.
Many of you, back in your cubicles, wear half-smiles,

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11 major organ systems
Size 12 ft.
22 sq. ft. skin

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Carolyn just loves
da new house in Kahala.

Hard to believe dat she grew up as wun local
cause she look and act like wun Katonk.

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our nile river sinks into street gutters
summer season is almost here
so dance for rain black baby
dance for rain.

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Brown girl, brown girl
her guilt is so deep and juicy in her thigh bone

that when her God consumes her, she is sure
He will suck the seasoned marrow

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“We are certain that there is some connection between poltergeists and puberty and that the mysteries of sex enter largely into their doings. And all the available evidence points to the fact that poltergeists prefer girl adolescents to boys - the ratio is about 95% to 5% respectively.”
          —Harry Price, “Can we Explain the Poltergeist?” (1945)

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hand last
your skin left
was
the wall not there

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the onion you lay line by line,
a hybrid thing both occidental and oriental

is a struggle against the void.
Hybrid like love cold, like love hot, like love open-ended.

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I’m a dead frog and I don’t say this with any pity or understanding or shame it’s just an observation that people seem to like us, like us a bit too much because they like to push hooks through our jaws and cast us out to sea, as well as amputate us for fine dining and draw us as a cartoon

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lips bursting more
               men in me
children I uphold the heavens
drunker than country

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I heard 2 shots in my neighborhood today
now none of my friends want to come out and play.
I said I hard 2 shots in my neighborhood today
and now none of my friends want to come out and play.

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Black poets
deserve the luxury of writing about nothing—
sometimes—
to speak for no one,

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“The white cops were right,” they chanted,
more Blacks need beating
and we need more guns.
Too many getting rich off welfare
too lazy to work.”

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            Make me somebody
            nobody wants
            to stand around.
            Make me your social problem.
            Make me feel lost, branded
            and hide whipped.

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I wonder if what I’m seeing is only my silence
my little silent laugh my little look-around
at the forest of faces growing new faces a long line
of faces and now the old white guy is busy
filling out his form hunched over all his words

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I left the south for the west
and browned like a sugar sprinkled pecan.
There’s nothing wrong with brown
The yellow leasing office boy says,
I was talking about the carpet in the model unit,

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