A Good Earth

by | Feb 9, 2021 | Issue Nineteen, Poetry

I talk facing away from the dead

They replace me with the change in my pocket

A penny that has yet to be invented

They say, “You have to know how to cut a throat on the way to cutting a throat”

After sleeping on a mattress made from two garbage bags of clothes

I became content with the small gestures of plantation fires

Playing with couch ashes, I realized how weird the universe was. It exists in so many places. So many random things. It interrupts me when I am trying to dream. Like your clay correspondence, Lord

To be transparent

I have twenty books next to a bullet

Like an old man giving advice at the beginning of a revolution

I’ve really done it, Lord. Explored the mumbles of my mind. Explored what’s naturally there. And I found no brainwashing. I found Africa, Lord.

I have a future

It takes place in the diasporic South

I have morning possessions

Modern militancy

I mean windows to the South

I will walk on a missile for food

I guess you will not want flowers for a few years, Lord

Will I be tied face to face with the country I murder

Merge with us, Lord

our old metal vs. the new metal

our old metal vs. a pool of meandering imperialist faces

A multiculturalism of sorts

The dead replace me with a comedian’s chest cavity

Instead of a chest cavity held tight

It takes a violent middle man for me to talk to myself

Stories that travel through other people’s stories

A song about a song

A hemisphere about a hemisphere

Stories that travel through a conquered poet

My mother remembers Africa, Lord

She killed on behalf of you, Lord

I wore a machete all winter and no one asked me what it meant

I read one thousand books in front of the world

What I do is fight poems

And sleep through decadent San Francisco prayer circles

Watch people play for post-working class associative surfaces

Or Recreations of a governor’s desk

ruling class art of utility

Playing find the sociopathic bureaucrat  

A day white people scare even easier

Tv in a basket next to a ceramic baby

Wearing ceramic armor

Musket progeny fantasizing through the art of the poor

Their trendy latches locked before God

Black art hunted down like a dog

Hand over my friends, Lord

Lord, I think that I am going to die in a war

Unelected white people in my small house

Like A blues song of no spiritual affect

or dollhouse H-bomb

A pony show near dead bodies

Apartheid weddings that go right

Apartheid white people who give birth to mathematicians

The spiritual continuity of barracks and police stations

The chemical interpretation of a Sunday trip to church

Church smells in their pockets

A river mistaken for a talking river

No autobiography outside of small personal victories of violence and drug use

Made in the image of God’s trinkets

What white abolitionists confided in their children about

Chemical assurances that

They will switch from Black artist to white artist

Black God to white God

Black worker to white worker

I think about you cautiously, Lord

In the same way I think about my childhood, Lord

Foxhole Friday nights

Most of life is mute

Comedian points out the planter’s field to the priest

King sugar cane

King cotton

King revolutionary

The bottle is central

Containing all modes of shallow introduction

Introducing an unlisted planter class

Speaking about fever and balance sheets

And reassuring the masses

That we can figure out our fathers later

A priest took my mother lightly, Lord

Stood in front of the parishioners re-raveling

Fantasies about black art

Priest reading confidently

Before I broke him

And broke his parallel

After today, I have never been a poet before

A little brother watches his big brother’s friends

They lean rifles on shelter walls

They agree with me and call it literature

It’s a simple matter this revolution thing

To really lie to no one

To keep nothing godlike

To write a poem for God

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