Channeling

I burn a thousand calories just staring at the wall

I send Morse codes to locate the origin of my flame

While I am a fury with a vicious catwalk

I put on pendants, bijoux and bracelets

I dress up so well that angels start weeping

Because I remember my mama telling me

You have to look proper when you carry God’s wrath

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To the Black Mountain

In the evening as the sun played Peek-a-boo with us mortals

I went up to the black mountain

To talk with my father, a black Buddha

I never remember what we say to one another

But his baritone, loving voice will resonate

In my body throughout the day

And the next day I find out that I am not myself

I mean I am more myself today than yesterday

I wear the same clothes

Drive the same car

Snore as always

But the “me” today isn’t the “me” yesterday

Excess has fallen off between today and yesterday

Lost but not missed

The resonance of Father’s voice grow stronger everyday

I get caught humming the creating of galaxies

Unaware that every tune is rewriting my genetic code

This is the beginning of the end

Every daily death brings me closer to Father

All I have to do is live this moment fully until final death

And my body will be dusted away to the four winds

And all of me that matters will be with Father

Until the end of worlds.

Eyes Wide Open

My man sleeps eyes wide open

With the TV on and a quiet despair

I know he stopped by OFC on his way here

And asked for wings

To reach the summits of America

But I’m sure the server told him

That he was mistaken about the services OFC provided

For $8.99, he could get a bucket of chicken wings,

Chicken thighs and chicken breasts

Nothing more, nothing less

He would then come home

With a sober mouth and a heart drunk with rage

He would pull our son to the side

And whisper in his ears:

Repeat after: Impossible is nothing

Impossible is nothing

Impossible is nothing

Go to public school

And come out with no hands or body skills

Go to university

And come out with a flipping burgers degree

Get a job and watch your dream turn mute, deaf and blind

And you will die at sixty

Because life broke your heart

Of course I never let him finish

But sometimes I’m caught up in the kitchen

Where he finally comes to give me a kiss

Fermented with the aches of his day

And I return his kiss with mine filled with my own aches

Later in the bedroom

The volume turned down on a rerun of Seinfield

He was sitting at the edge of the bed crying peacefully

Reassuring he would sleep soon

At 2 am I would find him in my arms

His eyes wide open

His breathing deep and slow

And I would remember with horror

That he predicted that the day

He would close his eyes

Was the way he would die

But for as long as he lived

He had to keep his eyes wide open

Staring life in the face

A Silent America

Background: The boyfriend was having lunch with his future father-in-law and after a pause for reflection the father of his girlfriend said with a smile:

A jobless, black man is a danger to society.

The boyfriend agreed silently-he thought to himself that this remark didn’t apply to him because although they were both black, they also had jobs. The boyfriend changed topics and they went on their favorite rant concerning education in America.

 

A jobless, black man is a menace to society

It’s better to keep him in the zoo with the other animals

Because zoos are booming businesses for corporations

Just imagine a backward animal making money for a leech

And creating security jobs for middle brow America

Containment is everything nowadays

The containment and shipment of goods

Some elements in society should be sterilized and contained

Because American must stay clean, white and spotless

For money to flow like blood

From the East to the West

For now let’s bow our heads for a full minute of silence

As I’m being told once again to go back where I came from

Yes

Why don’t we return to where we came from

And leave behind everything

And no one to stay around wondering what happens to

The skyscrapers built like Babel towers

The 24 hours malls, casinos and fast foods

The thousands of miles of open road desert

The cold and beloved missile factories

The airplanes parked in our driveways

An empty White House and a dark Wall Street

No alarm going off

No clocking in or out

Just a silent America

Where wild screams from animals and gods have returned

And men hide in caves afraid of the light

Our stars, the TV satellites, will fall weeping

To leave behind a naked sky

But for now let’s return to our programning

Because someone should be telling the masses

How to live and how to die

They need parenting

And we are happy to oblige

Sometimes it means turning potentially dangerous elements of society

Into zoo animals

Just for the sake of good blood flowing

I mean good, clean money flowing

Flowing happily in the suburbs and city centers of America

Even it causes America a heart attack

We have to keep Her happy, high and fat

Because I done told you

That when people don’t know

They just don’t know

I Was Grey and now I’m White

My shadow never left the plane that brought us to Oregon

I spent a year trying to locate it but in vain

I wrote to the airline company and my friends back in Congo

But no one has seen it yet

Everyone is starting getting annoyed

The way I keep asking

Have you seen my shadow pass by?

They say I’m just homesick

And that all will be fine soon

But when people don’t know

They just don’t know

They hold out limp hands with limp smiles

Give limp words of advice

While I’m firmly desperate to recover my shadow

It’s possible my shadow got tired of me

And went on a world trip to discover the purpose of life

I wouldn’t blame it either

I could use one too if I wasn’t feeling so hollow

Now that the black part of me has left me

And I’m left with the white part

People say

You look different

And I go from yelling to whispering

I WAS GREY AND NOW I’M WHITE

So when you lose your shadow

Act like nothing ever happened

Because when people don’t know

They just don’t know

Cauchemar

As a kid, I suffered from stool and urine incontinence

Not the safe in-your-home-at-night-with-your-auntie-

Willing-to-help-you-get-cleaned-up

But the traumatic during-daylight-in-school-at-church one

The cause for such release was always the same: FEAR

It chewed up my heart

And then shamed me

I still recall that afternoon when father had his belt out

Ready to give me the punishment I deserved for not listening

I saw the belt and urine ran down to make a pool at my feet

All warm and yellow like the sun outside

Disgusted my father called out:

Woman, come take care of your child

Nowadays fear doesn’t shake me loose like that

We both stay away from one another

Giving each other room to breathe

We might bump into each other in the streets

But it’s not like we hang out or anything

Nowadays I refuse her kiss

Because her tongue sucks the life out of you

Leaving you wide open

For the world to trample in

Nowadays I get nightmares

Of a child drowning in a pool of urine

And his mother’s arms can’t pull him out

No matter how hard she tries

That’s when I wake up in sweat

And then go to the bathroom

Relieved it was just a dream.

I Got that Jungle Fever

If my life during daylight is a straight and narrow road

At night, my life turns into a stormy jungle

And for that to happen I have to properly make my bed

Smooth out all the wrinkles

Tuck the sheets in the corners

Drink my merry go around potion

A recipe I would never divulge under torture

And then get all wild with jungle fever

My loved ones don’t know about my jungle fever nights

Because I only do well in a crowd of strangers

I can be the pope, the devil and a god

And these strangers will love or hate me

But they can’t be two faced to my face

I do this to match the noise level of my soul

To avoid the pills, the short sighted doctors and stressed out nurses

I just don’t do well in hospitals

Because you can’t get your freak on at night

And God knows how much I need it

Comes morning

I’m back on the straight and narrow

Nodding yes so much

That I’m surprised my head hasn’t fallen off

I’m glad I still have my head though

I don’t have much of a body

But my head would bring envy out of those greek statue heads

And since my sex organ is between my ears

I need my head for my jungle fever nights

I like this divided life

Nothing pleases me more

Than to know that I fool everyone

And yes including myself

It keeps on my toes like ballet dancers

Because I don’t know what today will bring