we hug so hard, we crush
like two continents colliding
or at least like two old lincoln
continentals in head-on-hope.
body into body
collapsing into beauty
we embrace for impact.
to live and love under a winter’s equinox (partial), ufsd © 2006
years later, after amistead’s
arrival & the tightening of turner’s
throat… after du bois vs. douglas
debates & the blackbeat renaissance
of harlem… after robert johnson’s
blue jingles & mr. bojangles fandango…
after the afterflow of jim crow…
after the birth of cool & the death
of malcolm… in the afterglow
of garvey, marley, charlie
parker and the darker densities
of mingus & monk…
after the last poets & pfunk…
after giovanni and sanchez and
the fantasia of the fatboys & krs
consciousness / of overtures
from outkast / the onyx past
after niggas became black and
coloreds began calling themselves
in this shadow of supremacy,
soul is still stilled. but a breath
is set loose / relayering pigments
upon a stageless poet’s off-page
persona, filling his philosophy with
meditations bathed in cornbread and
mediterranean lamentations / urban
phosphorescence and the desire to
see his soulmate smile…
after perforated history, a blackbodied
boy still seeks to speak his pidgin-fire
phrases / self-reflecting a steady belief
after warriors fell or learned to
survive in fresh hell: still,
- aura de negro, upfromsumdirt © 2009
Writer and Director of Pumzi, Wanuri Kahui, Talks about afrofuturism and Africa’s changing standing.
a red eye over the horizon;
an onoculous cloud, amorphously black,
speaking some ancient analogue: this,
this “Osiris” comes, cloaked in catharsis,
Malcolm-glasses darkly tinted and a mint
conditioned kangol drooped
he leaks charisma…
his African medallion swings / a pendelum
for his people and the latest pentium in his
"Ausar." we say… ankh’d out & outta sight!
his twilight like a flaming sword, he is
a slang-lord in sacred skin… when he knocks,
let him in and watch as he fathers a fighter…
(wise-warriors / coming out to play-ee-aaay)
Auset, Full Of Grace
nobody notices her until they need somethin:
a plate made… a bill paid… a floor swept…
she often laugh’d… freely wept… was unafraid
of the feelings she felt / lady day - a.k.a. Black Mary.
nary a favor she wouldnt fulfill if your will was in
the right place… wrapping her wet-wings around
a wish until a deepsea fish fell out in prophecy;
immaculately… imaginative… fertile with her
liberating love, her soul (as they say) on the wings
of a dove, but chalk her sweettalk to the divine hawk
hovering in her head, to the butterflies in her belly
and the upfromthedead conceived in her reprieves…
she’s just like us… her neckbones would make Set
moan for her touch… and her sweetpotatopie was
to die for. but she adored only one… the sun rose
and set in her husband’s smile… for he, her thighs
gave birth to the nile. his musk, the crux of her dreams.
Heru: His Fist On Fire
a liar-liar abuses the muses / fuses a ruse to the blues,
but there is good news: it’s a new day!
from shadow and soot john-the-conqueror root sitrs,
unblurs night from day and speaks god… bourne by
a virgin, born under a sad moon / he comes returning
the rhythm… a hymn… a song for his father… a wrong
righted - it’s what he does… a truth, born from
underwater ruins - hey you, dontchu worry, Heru is here.
old-fashioned hard, an honest hustler turning reeds
into words, pulling weeds from the neter-verse until
the ghetto is a garden in the name of something good.
poppin the hood on heaven, fine-tuning the infinite…
his fist on fire like
a chamber of the sun.
Anubis Over Troubled Waters
the abyss is ubiquitous and beautiful…
let’s venture to the crossroads / crossing paths / trading
trouble for tranquility with Anubis…
faded jeans… unjaded dreams… tan timbs and
a hallowed hoodie (tupac-like, if Anubis rocked a mic)
Nu-Nu, as his neighbors called him, was partial to poetry
and denim hymns… the original Hound of the Baskervilles;
underground the daffodils… his will was prolific for his
people. his abyss is beautiful and also ubiquitous…
it is everywhere in everyone.
Set You Free…
Cain kills Abel in folktales and fables and twilight
distortions of biblical proportions; thru jealous seeds evil
deeds are sewn… antithesis is grown and everyone wants
a piece of power… especially him… Set… the sun, Set…
the setting down of divine understanding / the silencing
of the prototypical lamb. on his tongue, winter solstice is
hung like the acetose apples on the tree of absurdity
(in the garden of cryptic analogies)…
Set / sat and sits in wait, like an asp at the feet of angels
and egun-gun alike… his brother’s reaper, he is keeper
of the poisonous passionfruits….
like a true sista, she sees the soul in everything.
shaped by the shape of breath, she speaks
freedom-from-death in small talk or tall talk…
her hobbies are twilight and tenderness.
her habit is for harshness, sometimes (and watermelon
jolly ranchers, Sonia Sanchez and Cornel West) but what
she likes the best is retracing butterfly flight patterns,
chasing rainbows as she cha-cha’s with the truth…
coming full-circle with her senses, like the stones
in Saturn’s Ring…
to the liars and betrayers of breath, she is
the mysterious mistress, but to those with
serious souls, she is the - right-kind-of-woman©
meticulous with her clarity / she’s a sable sage
asking “ma’at’s the matter with you?”
so… what IS the matter with you?
It’s Not Your Beauty, It’s Tehuti!
somewhere in the Sahara, between the subway
and your soul, Tehuti teaches… a gentleman and
a scholar… has “makes me wanna holla” playin on
his hi-fi… has Carter G. Woodson streaming on his
wi-fi, screaming “the miseducation of…
…the miseductation of…”
parallel parables spill out across his scrabble
board / triple points scored for the capital of Kemet…
…anybody? … … …anybody?
Tehuti says: i have a dream and knowledge reigns
supreme and i theme you theme we all theme
for prophets and promised lands once upon a time
in the pyramids…
we pray for mental tundra to release its thunder,
a mnemonic possession… a rainfall, some
transcendental squall to wash away the squalor and
the parlor tricks of poverty… each one… reach one…
beseech the sun with your afro-sacerdotal-sciences…
the world is too full with politicians and pallbearers…
has not enough philosophiers and wearers of the crown.
will the real 21st century pharaohs PLEASE stand up?
psi-walkers: re-assemble in antecedent atmospheres
and let your spirits be re-inseminated with the sun.
it could all be so simple, so cinematic; there is still time
for Bill Duke and Julie Dash to birth a better director.
Jonathan Ashley has become a frequent patron of our bookstore.
Jon was the owner of Second Story Books in Louisville, a spot that i unfortunately never had the pleasure of visiting before its closing. Jon is an open book… pun seriously not intended …and talks a thousand words a minute and will honestly detail his past and ongoing battle with drug addiction (which was the major catalyst for the closing of his shop).
Jon’s a weird guy. he’s a dark shadow disguised as a young Bob Keeshan. imagine Captain Kangaroo channeling Jack Torrance; this is Jon. he’s currently waiting to hear back from publishers concerning the publication of a novel of crime noir that he’s completed (a very loosely autobiographical tale of 2 book store owners who get in over their heads when they get in the illegal drug business). I’m definitely having Jon read here whenever it gets the go ahead.
now, any good bookstore worth its weight in allegory is gonna gather its fair share of weirdos on a daily basis and the strip mall where The Wild Fig is located is CHOCK FULL of weird characters, shady/nerdy/and/or/sublime. it’s rare that i start off liking any of them; i’m a hard guy to get next to, and Jon was no exception. he talks too fast and cant sit still and you wonder if he’s tweakin’ and you expect him to soon start foaming at the mouth while falling to the floor in a conniption. but then you just realize that’s how he is… this is his personality. keep him away from the caffeine and any open containers of sugar.
aside: Phil is our other “narcotics specialist”, another former business owner (high-end furniture) who suffers from tremendous highs and disparaging lows - manic on both ends. and habitually worrisome… if i too had a drug problem then Phil would perennially “harsh my mellow”. and, today, Phil has to move from his apartment that sits between the liquor store and bar at the far end of our strip mall. if Phil was a cinematic character he’d be Hunter S. Thompson as a zombie on The Walking Dead. i like you Phil… good luck, but don’t feel compelled to make any special visits to see me, ok? ok. i would like you Phil if not for the all the loathing that your negative attitude inspires. Eeyore. Phil is Eeyore as a Walking Dead zombie. the love-child of Eeyore and Hunter Thompson as an undead living thing. i’m sorry, but that had to be said.
Jon might well end up being Phil’s replacement.
i hope not, because Jon seems very likable. and i’m writing this post as a reminder (in case the day comes that i cant stand his ass) that he told me some uplifting shit today and for that my spirit was and remains deliriously grateful.
everyone has ups and downs and i hope Jon is able to maintain overcoming his struggles; his saga is full of tribulations and Lexington desperately needs all of the anti-heroes it can take.