Labor Day in Brooklyn 2018
Here space and time exist in light
the eye like the eye of faith believes.
The seen, the known
dissolve in iridescence, become
illusive flesh of light
that was not, was, forever is.
O light beheld as through refracting tears.
Here is the aura of that world
each of us has lost.
Here is the shadow of its joy
the letter always bled for her for her eyes (brown as those old bottles in the medicine cabinet) bleeding words like teardrops yet without spilling onto the green tile floor those words always pure only staining the paper glossy black ink blood like muslin stuck to an old wound those words always strong yet blurred, obscure words only a scholar would find obscene
happy are those who die because they have returned to those first crumbs of dirt that fed us to that first hole to that soft black and smell of coal
we real cool
we beat slow
mellow flow hold
the fluidity at a
decibel of a syllable
we street meat
in the belly
we brew steady heavy
live accents &
It’s not so much the truth that bothers
Truths like lies
can sometimes shift
so whether they’re spat or whispered
they’ll always unfold
It’s the lying that kicks up the brick dust
The you can lie to them, we all do it
We’re all a them to someone
Where honesty hung off the tongue ready to dive
there’s only omission
a clean unwillingness
to break down and be an outright liar
Cowardly, feverish, but ready
my truth will lay in wait in trenches of jowls
Let the world have it
Fuck’em my shit is self evident
If ever you are in the room with those
Lost in the reverie of poetry
And struggling to guide their thoughts, they close
Their seeking eyes to help them better see;
If ever you have watched a poet’s face
Composing line within a world inside
No other soul can witness nor divide;
Then you are not alone in wond’ring, “Where,
While all their flesh and blood on Earth remains,
Do poets take their thoughts before they bare
Them back transformed? Where is a poem’s domain?”
This verse will not reveal from whence it came,
And poets–they write poems to explain.
Dammit, Athena, take away my father’s gold. Send me away
to live with lepers. Give me a pimple or two.
But my face. To have men never again be able to gaze
at my face, growing stupid in anticipation
of that first touch, how can any woman live like that?
How will I be able to watch their warm bodies
turn to rock when their only sin was desiring me?
All they want is to see me sweat. They just want
to touch my face and run their fingers through my…
is it moving?
By Patricia Smith
why do you let them?
come and leave?
like them and
love you, too?
what is the reason
behind settling for
sticks and stones?
for dimming your glow?
how come half their heart
is good enough for all or
you bend back and break
bones for themin your home–
and yet they are allowed to stay
and make a mess of you.
why do you let them?
by Alex Elle