Posts tagged poetry.

in this light by carl phillips

Sure, I used to say his name like a truth that, just 
by saying it aloud, I could make more true, which  
makes no more sense than having called it sorrow, 
when it was only the rain making the branches hang 
more heavily, so that some of them, sometimes, 
even touched the ground…I see that now.  I can see 

how easy it is to confuse estrangement with what 
comes before that, what’s really just another form 
of being lost – lost, and trying to spell out wordlessly, 
hand-lessly, the difference between I fell and Sir, 
I’m falling.  As for emptiness spilling where no one 
ever wanted it to, and becoming compassion, as for 

how that happens – What if all we do is all we 
can do?  What if longing, annihilation, regret are all this 
life’s ever going to be, a little music thrown across and 
under it, ghost-song from a cricket-box when the last 
crickets have again gone silent, now, or be still forever
as the gathering crowd, ungathering, slowly backs away?

carl phillips
the paris american

Language is the element of definition, the defining and descriptive incantation. It puts the coin between our teeth. It whistles the boat up. It shows us the city of light across the water. Without language there is no poetry, without poetry there’s just talk. Talk is cheap and proves nothing. Poetry is dear and difficult to come by. But it poles us across the river and puts a music in our ears. It moves us to contemplation. And what we contemplate, what we sing our hymns to and offer our prayers to, is what will reincarnate us in the natural world, and what will be our one hope for salvation in the What’sToCome.

Love potions
solve no mysteries,
provide no comment
on the unspoken.
Our lives tremble
between pathos and seduction.
Our inhibitions
force us to be equal.
We swallow hard
black love potions
from a golden glass.
New language beckons us.
Its dialect present.
Through my eyes
focused as pure, naked light,
fixed on you like magic,
clarity. I see risks.
Regrets? There will be none.
Let some wonder,
some worry, some accuse.
Let you and I know
the tenderness
only we can bear.

Between Pathos and Seduction, Essex Hemphill (via tallawa)


“When you have no music, / everything becomes a form of music.” - Terrance Hayes


He is a beautiful killing machine,

and he is dead:

One boy kissed into bliss

by myth, who can’t remember

his own name, can’t hear

the fatal fact of him

echoing down the busy centuries

he has no time for anymore

from “Dead Boys Club,” a poem by Reginald Shepherd

'serious lesson learned' by ntozake shange

ah haaa/ beware beware my dear
of rabid dogs/ gusanos with grenades
drunken maniacs/ jealous women from the south
& cerebral love affairs/ particularly
a lover who doesn’t need to see ya cuz he can make you
up so good when yr not there & he’s peelin apples
or when yr not there & he’s showin’ pictures of
   himself in
grade school with charlie & bubba to this other woman
he never thinks abt when yr there/ beware beware
of men wit a woman in the head as opposed
to by his side or in his arms or in the kitchen
stay away from a man who can hear yr voice as clearly
in yr presence as in yr absence/ he’s dangerously
in love wit himself/ & hasn’t met you yet
he may have drawn a sketch of yr back fore he
ever saw you/ or a woman in a porno flick wore the same
kinda panties you had on the first night/ or ya
    cook grits
just like his sister who he usedta make-believe fuck
    when he
was seven/ & you probably look exactly like him
   if he waz
a female/ yes well/ he loves ya
he says/ times doesn’t matter/ how much/
go be wit other men/ & stay away for months/ no
   need to
correspond/ this man’s got ya tied up in his fantasies
yr fleshy & independent reality is insignificant
unpredictable/ touch for him is illusion
is all he wants/ a still-photo of ya is his love
forever/ in control/ watch to see
if he likes ya to sit still
be quiet/ so he can/ capture yr energy/ beware beware
he will leave yr kisses & desires between yr legs
walk off smilin/ think of ya/ tell all the fellas
how he loves ya/ call once a month on the full moon/
cuz he loves ya & remembered that night/ he has stopped
ya in time/ which is death/ necrophilia for the
modern colored man/ has only to do with a cerebratin
love affair/ beware beware of men who love to think
abt ya & start talking bout the fights when ya
wanna be loved/ or start not understandin english/
quick/ ‘love/ whatya mean love’/
i think abt ya all the time
beware my dear beware/ his dreams of ya are like
whips cross yr backs/ this love is not for ya
it’s for the woman in his head/ caught/
dead/ madly in love wit him/ forever
beware/ beware lovers in search of illusion
have to betray the truth of you 

ntozake shange
nappy edges
pp. 108 - 109

1 year ago on 10/02/12 at 07:04pm

'The Geography of Poetry' by Assotto Saint

for ntozake shange

ntozake shange
i looked you up
among the poets at barnes & noble
but i didn’t find you

walt was there amidst leaves of grass
anne gazed down
her glazed eyes dreamt of rowing mercy
erica posed in her latest erotica
even rod took much space
i searched among ghosts
& those alive
i couldn’t find you

i asked the clerk
if he had kept you tied down in boxes
or does he use your books as dart boards
he smirked then shouted “she’s in the black section
in the back”
even literature has its ghettos

stacked amongst langston, nikki, & countee
maya who looked mad
the blues had her bad
zake tell me
did you demand to be segregated
"does color modify poetry"
i asked the manager

he patted me on my head
"it’s always been this way" 

assotto saint
spells of a voodoo doll: the poems, fiction, essays and plays of assotto saint
pp. 27 - 28 

2 years ago on 09/12/12 at 08:24pm