Dear Friend,

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The Day Misery Knocks

Don’t fret the day misery

knocked at your door

you knew he’d come

take off his shoes

break all your rules

put a squeeze on your toothpaste tube

dirty up the tub

use all the ice cubes

He hadn’t lain in your lap

to tell you he’d stay

If he reaches the door, leaving

he comes right back immediately, saying

i left my keys

can you wash these

more time please

to gather his things

But remember this

you are king of all you survey

if misery has overstayed a welcome

show him the way

because only you have the key

Poem For Black Boys (With special love to James)

Where are your heroes, my little Black ones
You are the Indian you so disdainfully shoot
Not the big bad sheriff on his faggoty white horse

You should play run-away-slave
Or Mau Mau
These are more in line with your history

Ask your mothers for a Rap Brown gun
Santa just may comply if you wish hard enough
Ask for CULLURD instead on Monopoly
DO NOT SIT DO NOT FOLLOW KING
GO DIRECTLY TO STREETS
This is a game you can win.

As you sit there with all your understanding eyes
You know the truth of what I’m saying
Play Back-to-Black
Grow a natural and practice vandalism
These are useful games (some say a skill even learned)

There is a new game I must tell you of
Its called Catch The Leader Lying
(and knowing your sense of the absurd you will enjoy this)

also a company called revolution has just issued a special kit for little boys called Burn Baby
I’m told it has full instructions on how to siphon gas and fill a bottle

Then our old friend Hide and Seek becomes valid
Because we have much to seek and ourselves to hide from a lecherous dog

And this poem I give is worth much more than any nickle bag or ten cent toy
And you will understand all too soon
That you, my children of battle, are your heroes
You must invent your own games and teach us old ones how to play.
4/2/67……..

–Nikki Giovanni

Step To The Table

step to the table with a pen

release all the static within

view the universe clearly

in my thoughts sand, gravel slipping through my hands

cocoa butter memories swim around

this intellectual revolutionary

bury me with dark chocolate and a floatie

i can back stroke through the essence of life

anger and admiration raise the question

are you really that comfortable with ignorance?

ebonics has spread like the bubonic plague

devil obscured our language to make meaning vague

if you can’t comprehend what i said

let me reiterate

in communication lies peace  these words we preach

but the violence can’t cease if no one understands us

ninety percent of your speech is driven by thought

think of the truth

translate that into actions dominated by ninety percent of your heart