cottonI inherited a legacy

cotton is my inheritance


chain gangs&

songs about chariots

chariots chain gangs & cotton

joe turner came and never left

he over yo shoulder cotton on

his breath my memory of cotton

is older than me

carried in corpuscles

in racial memory

stretched across sagging dreams

the smell of 10 cent pop bottles

in dead peoples hands

on porches long gone to the bank

sweat & dreams gone

gone like the booms

looming in the fails

whispering tales

bout old cotton

& crosses burning

moonshine courage

bruised hands busted backs

bent to near breaking


bending picking toting

bending bending bending

not broken

dreaming of chariots

dreaming in motion

tales of locomotives

before trains

wary of twisted motives

remembering boats

movement as medicine

cotton the disease

joe turner on jim crows white horse

cotton hoods

cotton flags

joe turner on jim crows horse

seasoning dreams

swallowing the sun

eating the sky

drinking the ocean

cotton says you should remember

bending bending bending

not broken

be instructed by cotton

on the true nature of

jim & joe

cotton on their breath

riding white horses in cotton hoods

cotton done been the death

of me surely as the shadows

of strange fruit hanging

from bitter trees dancing

in the wind as life leaves

the host joins the holy ghost

to tell tales

of cotton remembered

in corpuscles not to be forgotten

rather passed in blood to

the young who pack the

memory in the bags they

carry filled with

old things

the smell of the sea &

the tales of cotton





About Ayodele Nzinga, MFA, PhD

I create; therefore I am.
This entry was posted in Black Arts, North American African Perspective, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cotton

  1. asumcatring says:

    This was my next blog. I am just going to send via email. We have to see ourselves and our history from another perspective, tales, lore, fables, prose, etc. To “Flip the Switch” revive both the hero and the scoundrels. Give our lives, our struggles meaning. Well done, Dr. Nzinga, well done. A Keeper. Karen Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2014 06:06:57 +0000 To:

    • Cotton is talking to me. I have had conversations with water, dirt, and ink — now cotton is tugging on my sleeve. I will share what it tells me. Thank you for reading. I am very appreciative that the work speaks to you.

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