SEE ALL TAGS & MOODS
I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
The instructor said,
Go home and write
a page tonight.
And let that page come out of you —
my friends, my sweet barbarians,
there is that hunger which is not for food —
but an eye at the navel turns the appetite
You are light
when the sun is punched out
and darkness reigns.
You are the antidote
to what came before:
black blood, black heart,
hands tied, kneeling before
a ditch of human bones.
won’t you celebrate with me
what i have shaped into
a kind of life? i had no model.
born in babylon
both nonwhite and woman
what did i see to be except myself?
i made it up
From an original rock painting in Topock, Arizona, now digitized on a
Before this city, the Creator pressed his staff
into the earth, and the earth opened—
Let Us Be Fireflies
All day we
practice morse code signals
i once shoved my foot through glass
getting to know my own anger
its patches of stupid
stress is just a socially acceptable
word for fear
In every which way, I am living
for potential. I’ve mined cadmium
enough to roulette with Death
and Mars, bloodshot brute,
is swollen in my honour.
My function is action —
to pummel through concrete
i thought it was ok - i could understand the reasons
they said there might be young children or a nervous man seeing
this small piece of flesh that they weren’t quite expecting
diaspora babies, we
are born of pregnant pauses/spilled
from unwanted wombs/squalling invisible-ink poems/written in the margins
of a map of a place
called No Homeland
Each day, I am apprenticed to the boy
I want to be.
He rifles the ball
and I catch it
or I fumble.
His red head ducks and weaves,
I remember my birth
like it was tomorrow, the unholy sensation
11 am. Time to wake up.
Muscles sore, jaw clenched, warm light
scattering dreams of violence across
the bedroom. I've chosen a self
You sit in the forgotten bone-dry hills
surrounded by sand and sagebrush
above Buffalo Pound Lake.
A day and a night, and then
three more days and nights.
Dem did sey she pregnance
Cum a sea full a mi
Weighing har down eena har shoe dem
Dresses, coco, mangoes an baggy an arl
Dem did sey de ship nearly sink
Mi mumma nebah sleep a wink
it's okay if you only learned about your culture from Google
it's okay if you only read your language at the public library
Hands pressed to glass
We had no paper
then, or we had
no pen, or no words. How
to say it. We had
no voice. No listeners.
Just deaf night
One thousand eight hundred seconds.
Protest is not supposed to be comfortable.
Draw a line through our scattered bodies. The pattern of fallen calves in this meadow will mirror
the constellation above. Look up. We whip our tails to a silent song:
The puck skates in on parted-snow ice.
It's the season’s last game, an encore
to stomach winter’s sliver, to shrug off
the townsfolk stares.
The moonlit night is advanced in years
Take the thickest socks.
Wherever you're going
you'll have to walk.
There may be water.
There may be stones.
There may be high places
you cannot go without
It was in a boardroom
that I witnessed the latest killing
A room filled with knowledgeable
trying to understand
what we offer
The night America took off her mask
we slept together poorly. I'd woken up early
that Tuesday, dragged myself to a gymnasium
in Jersey City to cast my vote into the void.
Life is short & I tell this to mis hijas.
Life is short & I show them how to talk
to police without opening the door, how
to leave the social security number blank
in the south hebron hills the slanted hills
recall old songs, and the women collect
them like rain. the men have two-syllable
gap tooth black girl
back corner of class
poetry on blank paper
save the school's
curriculum for later
No one else rescued me. Not my father
or my brother or, years later, the gentle man
who became my husband. Not my mother
or my best friend or any of the women
who listened to me tell my story
The sun gave our shoulder blades ulu-shaped burns, and the sun gives nothing to our sort
I sleep now, and furiously
Clouds excreted shadows on the shoreline, and there were no clouds
Stepping off the plane in Whitehorse
the last thing I expect to feel
not quite alone
but close enough
here in this great black north.
As we drive away from the airport
Here's how you make pemmican
big ghosts contra
band my diction war
korea's north sees red as
america flags china's chopped limb
british crowns hong kong
cut for duplicity more capitalist than capitalist
Ocean, don’t be afraid.
The end of the road is so far ahead
it is already behind us.
Don’t worry. Your father is only your father
until one of you forgets. Like how the spine
The 31st day of August 1914
I left Deauville a little before midnight
In Rouveyre’s little car
I come from the land of
Where You From?
My people dispossessed of their stories
and who have died again and again
in a minstrelsy of afterlives, wakes,
the dead who walk, waiting and
Blue-white afternoon. The Bow river churns and smokes
as the city rumbles, economy chokes and bundled homeless
build cardboard homes in the snow. Yes, Walt, this is the new
To be a good
ex/current friend for R. To be one last
inspired way to get back at R. To be relationship
advice for L. To be advice
for my mother. To be a more comfortable
this is the transsensorium
there are indo-robo-women fighting cowboys on the frontier
& winning finally
the premodern is a foundation for the postmodern
wintermute, tessier-ashpool, armitage
the animal in me
sleep is uncertain,
in the night,
I hear footsteps.
Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green,
The night above the dingle starry,
Time let me hail and climb
If I am judged
If I am punished
If I am dismissed
If I am misunderstood
If I am celebrated
If I am envied
If I am competed with
If I am slandered against
If I am seen
It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
My Black heroes don’t drop names like Fendi Gucchi Prada
My Black sheroes rock afros like Angela Davis and Assata
But my sheroes are more than a trend and they’re bigger than a hairstyle
for Alton Sterling, Andrew Loku, Philando Castile, et al.
I wanna live, son. But which son are you?
There where the rivers are made
of moonshine and the lights still wait,
i twist and gasp
open and close my mouth
searching for air
whenever a sturgeon is caught in the rainy river
the feel of strange hands touching my body
take the moon
nd take a star
when you don’t
know who you are
paint the picture in your hand
nd roll on home
take my fear
nd take the hunger
take my body
Yes, injured Woman! rise, assert thy right!
Woman! too long degraded, scorned, oppressed;
O born to rule in partial Law’s despite,
Gotta love us brown girls, munching on fat, swinging blue hips,
decked out in shells and splashes, Lawdie, bringing them woo hips.
As the jukebox teases, watch my sistas throat the heartbreak,