dark art


my dark art


you truth

raw stuns

 like max on drums

ancient sacred primal

 dark art

mesmerized you

slipped in baptized

you approached invited

me to cite

sing tap entertain you

collecting my shroud

of shadows gathering thunder 

trailing wailing women

prayers of unborn children

sliding the eagles

back into

the book


like you like

walked away

bleeding dark art

bloody footsteps

stale air last breaths

centuries of trauma

stopping to pour out

gin for Ogun

me and the eagles


not like you like

breathing deep in

dark hearts

where sun

shines sublimely

refined refracted reflected

the inside of pure

darkness beyond dark

draped in black

three eyes


drum hearted

fire burning

nomo ignited

verbal vampire


assumed you knew

she travel well


w/dark art

spit spells

weaving existence

ways out the no way

sopranos sing here

high like corpses swinging

strangely in trees

in deeply purple southern breezes

drug by horses through the north

informing the curses

invoked dipped in indigo

coffee sugar wrapped in cotton

invisible but you see

I see so you invited

we accepted

me & the eagles free

no prisoners promised

no surrender no retreat

blocked exits for several lifetimes

syndicated rerunning on BET

there’s no escape

hold your breath

listen for

them  footsteps

syncopated like drums


walking on the bottom

of the ocean

dark art

tongue like sword

freed by

armies of bones

walking on water

swelling w/ recruits

rising from graveyards

pregnant with unresolved

history projectiles

jaggedly inventive inverse

conjuring murky magic

deliciously dangerous

perniciously persistent

hard to kill

dying to live

we are here

to entertain

double-sided axes

tilt your world

i be a different axis

listen closely to access this

now horns play

the drum never stopped

that’s the circle unbroken

beating hearts

waking  walking  invoking

the dead we are here

Dahomey fire

zulu spears

protection shields

not a thing to lose

drown you in bluest blue

drums never stop beating

bass begins

she sings but

no tapping less

Zavion come over

Baraka is gone

fingers move in memory

but no tapping

she sangin


got to go through

the back

door to save you

dark art

breaking your fragile

heart bending the

notion of me

nappy uncharted

jazz fall into my ocean

swim in it

jump jim crow fits

fill jail cells with it

live in fear of it

choking on greedily ingested

appropriated you tried to eat

it correct it erase it

mass assimilate it

come to the picnic

cut up the body

take a small piece home

injected into your ass

lips & tits

I’ve come to help

you digest your

dreams of me

captured consumed

uncured still wild

 monk miles Marvin x

a thousand galaxies

ahead beyond

Sun Ra murdered

the fucking pale

I’ve come to bury it

crossing over

broken lines in Alabama

dark roads in Mississippi

sunrises over Georgia

itinerant refugee landless

razor smooth

few possessions

insert your confessions here

on the altar of my

dark art

beating heart

naked on stage

blinded by searchlights

they come mostly at night

shotguns under the bed

you can meet god tonight

pray it’s your god

mine don’t play

there may be no overcoming

we are here

wet from the water

still purple


crosses on necks

seeing god in the mirror

resisting existential crucifixion

tracks of bitter tears

smelling of dried blood

sweat from climbing

heavy rank-ass pain

too stubborn to die

 broke raggedy hope


fly fly fly my granny said

grow wings too many holes

in the ground

she cried she cried she cried

can my pain change you

right there

they drank the tears

the ocean

left shimmering bones dancing

on dry land

no tapping

invincible drums beat

dark hearts

dark hearts beating

she cried she cried she cried

the horns stopped

hex dropped

not a damn eye dry

feed my ocean

dark art

strung on trees


on dry ground

bones dancing

sharpening machetes

hold your breath

we are in the desert now

just the eagles’ lions & apes

walking with me

grannys weeping over dead children

kept in urns too poor for the cemetery

we all here

are you here

another one shot down

can’t eat your guilt

born hungry

I got dreams deferred

looking for justice

feeling like Fela Kuti


bones & feathers

eagles machetes razors

nothing to lose

we here

are you here

something should be burning

are you praying

pray that

poems never end

because what then

you breathe


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fetal curl style

in the cutting room

arranging the chapters of your life

you look at the front porches of others

from the windows

hapharzarly placed

in rented walls

in the cutting room

you edit

sorting lost moments

songs unheard

love untasted

weighing measuring

from the window

the roads others took

the wings they grew

the standing on the roof top

looking down-ness of it all

your porch has no flowers

weeds in the backyard tickle

your mind reminding you

of places you never went

will never go

in the cutting room

you add the things

you don’t own

don’t know exist

the lack grows

sideways in your soul

you fold it carefully

into small pieces

so it can sit just so

it catches the sunlight

falling on other

people’s porches

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when you live in rooms

where shoestrings dangle

tripping you up in the race

to get in to get out to get

where windows stay broken

even though they painted shut

the rats always return

four and two legged

you get tired the water

says don’t get weary

tired is a coat we

can set aside to find

joy in random beauty

amaryllis through broken

windows in brick houses

like brick house women

with forever tattooed in their  eyes

still beautiful

like still water



dangling shoe strings

on worn out shoes

don’t signify worth

worth is defined

in floating with your eyes open

seeing knowing and going on

floating back on the water

face to the heavens

is that all you got


the sun is gonna rise

why not be the tide

sometimes it’s got to be right

cause it can’t be wrong all the time

dangling shoe strings on worn shoes

cars that don’t go in reverse

dreams in boxes

delivered broken

missing parts without batteries

deep water blues

sing loudly in brash defiance

you will not kill me today

laid my troubles on the water

watched them sink

as the sun rose

walked into the water

walked out clean


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things written in sand


pendulum swinging

swing batter swing

always moving Chrisman

said that

King said its an arch

that gravitates towards good

they say Anne Frank

thought people were good

at the heart

I read Frank,

belived King,

overstood Chrisman

the wind of the pendelum

how things take forever

cuz thats God time

God time make

you a grain of sand

even sand got a story

ain’t God grand

the story

belong to God not the sand

swing batter swing

fill the void with verbs

we try

best epithat ever

we try

but God is telling

the story

do we understand

how to be a part of a story

bigger than us

how to be right

because right is right

even if you never win

can you dig that

man God writes

you just


but you still in the story

pulled by the tide

out from shore

bottom of the ocean

sand in the story

God writing about

beaches in short form

galaxies in long form

swing batter


what can sand

tell the beach

what a beach know

about a galaxy

even sand got a story

swing batter






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Brickhouse Lily

Lily in the Bricks. By We Inhale Photography

the house torn down, the lily remembers the builder —

jenny claimed the block

tupac rose from concrete

still deep in the streets

lily in the middle of the bricks

whole world fall down

chicken little up in this

saw the chicken scratch

most mistook it for the news

but there were trailers                                                                                                                          anybody know only fictions

offer trailers

still in NOLA a dime later

new milli the world ended

but clowns kept singing

so only

predicting prophets

felt it



the plate

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A Deep Dive Into the Prison-Industrial Pipeline in “Beyond the Bars”

An Oakulture review of my latest stage work.



What does “home” mean? Is home where the heart is? Where the hatred is? A physical location? A state of mind? Can prison be a home? What does it mean to come home? And, can you ever really go back home again? These philosophical questions are at the core of the Lower Bottom Playaz’ production of “Beyond the Bars: Growing Home.”

In “Beyond the Bars,” the prison-industrial pipeline becomes a backdrop for an powerful examination of black masculinity . An array of black men, ranging in age from mid-20s to senior citizen, come together regularly to check in with their feelings. It’s somewhat telling that the vehicle which allows them to gather for this purpose is a re-entry support group; all of them are formerly-incarcerated.

The prison-industrial pipeline becomes a backdrop for an powerful examination of black masculinity

Their check-ins are largely about dealing with the ramification of their…

View original post 1,141 more words

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#youwillnotkillmetoday (NPM2017 20)


death will come
on the day it wants
dressed as it pleases
at the time he chooses
death will come
of that there is little doubt
how it will be received
is the matter here
with ignorance
because you hate me
because of my melanin
because I long to be free
because I demand equality
there are traps by my
front door
armed guards at the
back of my mind
least you try to
slip in with me
unaware today
is not your day
if old age comes
soft to drape me
in forever I will
graciously away
but today is not that day
miles to travel
more forward to draw
from the mud
more errands for my ancestors
more clever cartography
more dancing tomorrow
from fractured todays’
and hard lived yesterdays
I have grown tough skin
over my hope
I water it with pragmatism
I am vigilant and will
not be set upon unaware
I anticipate you in my dreams
and have drawn a circle in
salt around your intentions
wrapped a prayer in white
cloth delivered it to a tree
that knows your name
I have talked to the dust
& the wind about you
and they whisper my name
before yours as life naturally
proceeds death
I am the promise risen
from the ocean
I am what grows outside
the fences you build
the rising whine at
the back of your worried
fretful mind (yes
the other shoe will drop)
bells are for tolling
as each dog has a sun
rise suns set on all houses
this is not your day
today I walk upright unafraid
continuing to dance on oppression
drumming for justice
walking against the wind
up every hill since  the good ship jesus & plymouth rock
I am the sword and the stone
carrying darkness like a banner inviting creation

I am

my machetes are sharp

my powder is dry

I have left yucca for

the left-handed child

iron in my

right pocket honey

in my hand


I have banished you from

the land of my dreams

I want not I suffer not

I am the living circle



image: by Jimmy Nelson

Posted in (NPM2017), Black Arts, North American African Perspective, right handed poems | Tagged , | 2 Comments