Five poems in the death of an evening


"dreams that die without names"

i had for you a quote
that i recite every night
lying awake or at least
nearly alive in my bed in my cell
and instead every cell of my body
screams out to satisfy the rage
of one who is sick of defeat
and the timeless beauty of people
There is a certain rhythm
that comes with rising prices of gasoline
signifying the struggles of brothers and sisters
fighting for freedom in the Niger Delta
for a dream that for once
is not a nightmare or like
those moments every night i lie awake
and every morning the dreams evaporate
their only trace a dull uncertainty
like the fragments of a foreign language
that follow me into the shower
and sleep or nearly so in trying
but we know those brothers and sisters
fighting in the Niger Delta are not
fighting for bread or water or dignity
because they are using the only tools
that will actually make a difference
so it must be they are terrorists
why else would they defend themselves
and not obey the great white father
moments before he finishes bringing their
black flesh to his festering mouth
to be patient and useless and dream.

"October 2011, Cleveland: To the cannibal with the bullhorn"

My comrades
in their teens and twenties
came as revolutionaries
and worked to feed the hungry.
But you arrived, Coca-Cola
in your cupholder and 
McDonald's pasted on your fat
miserable white male face
to inform us of the error
of our ways
And who would know better
than a seasoned Activist
dedicated (read: dogmatic) pacifist,
will all the privilege a fat useless fuck
in white skin and a business suit
wields in the struggle of the proletariat
you showed us the error of our ways
with your bullhorn and your experience
which taught you nothing but that
anarchists are a threat to your privilege
and the police -- with helpful tips from you --
can be so kind in dispatching with this nuisance
You shouted at us to be patient and reasonable
that it is against our very beliefs to defend
ourselves against the police or other class traitors
and you tossed out consensus when it proved
inconvenient -- when Black people and anarchists
desired to stand up for themselves, again, at last.
You who uphold the enemy with
your bullhorn even before the first paid informants arrive
taught us a vital lesson:
your kind, cannibals, are not to be tolerated.


"Little Brother"

Sleeping, i watched them die
again and again and 
the validity of the situation
unfolding impressed upon me
a sudden realization:
without teeth,
you can olny hope
to drink yourselves to death.

i am sorry
if in your eyes
i served to reinforce
the narrative of the state

Even now i say
this late into the night
-- especially this late! --
that we need our teeth

Fangs for to rend
flesh and heart
for to fight and win
until we lose, having fought.

For what can we gain
without bothering to fight?
What game are you playing?
Even if the outcome is certain
i for one would prefer
to die fighting.


"The face of my generation"

Emerging from oceanic lies
a glimpse of your ram's eyes
startling beauty in a calm face
blood-splattered, as freedom dies

A tear of blood
falling from large brown eyes
the strong lines of his jaw
betraying the warmth of his smile

The firm invitation of his jaw
past the flame of his lips
the ram's eyes
and broad shoulders
with the slim waist, like a woman's.

The certainty of his stare,
his musculature,
rising past youthful hair
surrounding flaming mouth
the strong nose
to the ram's eyes
And beyong, above, the glorious
tangled dark where
love and rage flare.

'The flower of youth dies in prison,'
goes the Italian
love song.

"Jellyfishbones" (or, "contemplating cmu")

i sense it
moving slowly through the night
-- no, not the night,
although the stars have been extinguished
so too has the darkness of the night --
this beast moves slowly through
the darkness of a world, a 
world it was born into
and i know not when it will strike.
The hour being what it is,
a modest request seems reasonable
and more affordable to us both
(money being what it is these days and nights):
Simply burn me
at the stake.
Alive will do.

At least that way
there will be some passion
once again
to the light which has extinguished 
the stars
and maybe,
i will pretend,
the flame that makes a wick
of my frame -- a geography, i felt,
deserving of further exploration, and always
willing to explore --
will provide a humble warmth
to the dying


"Take 2"

a form curled in
my chest twisted from
millions of years
deformed through an
intelligence that cannot
be expressed
in the desert of reality.



At times it seems as though
for me it is over, it has ended
and all that is left is the slow
agonizing crawl across the shattered glass
of yesterdays and foregone tomorrows
centuries of unrequited love; all the nights i've lost, alone
and all that is left is the recline,
the slow exhale of pipe smoke from an old man.



we were so close
to an embrace
yet having turned away
at the last moment
i didn't know
who did the turning
but my mind
invents the knowledge,
the experience,
of what it is like
to be by the warmth of your skin
the soft touch of your hair
the strength of your frame
against mine
and the breath
of so much suffering
in a single sigh
and i say again
i do not know
who did the turning
or if it even matters
my mind plays tricks,
plays collages of real and imagined
and at the last moment
i catch a glimpse
of his face
never having seen it (another trick?)
and yet instantly in love
with the beauty
before he vanishes
in a single sigh.