Two Poems

for my margarets of people

any message higher than blue storms means
that even if alabama can’t
be alobama much less a site
of decent wage scales anytime soon
turbo charged people educated
more than schooling ever intended
have numerous babies they can save
from rural and suburban rifles
cracking down on bronzeville
echoes of duke ellington on 47 th
or langston on lenox avenue
listening for professor longhair
on post-katrina south rampart street.
marching orders toward a new world
expressed in the best hip hop there is
beat a capitalistic vision
of self-restrained masses pimped big by
gangs of predatory financiers.
the real prophets call this correctly.
multi-colored liberty lovers
cold reppin all the generations
up and down the pathways of struggle
women and men enthralled by beauty
and the enterprises of healing
possess the strength and courage to seize
control of the flow roll, jordan, roll.

from Wing of Memory (2015)


black literature DNA test

skip the irony of the laboratory
and the four hundred bucks.
already know i’m some percent related
to half of wellington, north carolina
and not saving anybody either
without my respect.
the accidental slaughters in the lineage
are the fear trait squeezing
a pale good-hearted liberal
in the spirit of a cousin
at the shipyards of los angeles
near the house of the time traveling relative
regulating matters on the old plantation.
traces in the blood of the two
addicted korean war veterans cannot be denied.
dominant are unbowed black mothers
masters of the stairsteps lecturing
on the seriously hard work of climbing.
(for chesnutt, wright, himes, butler, knight, goines, and hughes)


From Wing of Memory (2015)