Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cracked Crown.


Dear Jean-Michel,

I've had three Haitian babysitters
accents thick like porridge
hands like revolution
entranced by fists gripping ladles
stirring love
sorrow

Maggie made tea with lettuce
snatched me up when I'd explored the college campus nearby
told me men were for tomorrows

Edwin only spoke creole when his mother
demanded he get off the phone
I'd call back hours later
asking him to speak it again
tell me what it means
show me more than the box I'm forced to live in

Edwidge sat at a book fair
unaware that I'd always created dangerously
hair platted with stories
I'd have offered to grease her scalp
Just to linger in her homeland one more time
of three day journeys
mountains
pitter-patter of child-like feet
tendencies
and blackened innocence
placed somewhere discreet like you

I hope you aren't perplexed by
why I'm telling you this, Jean.

I mean it's only fair,
since your ineligible scrawl
has divulged so much
you wear your crown so well
dreaded the day they deemed you royalty
a game of Jenga
soul of broken angles
they pulled your limbs
praying you'd never fall

but you were always falling...

descending slowly
with altitude in your veins
caught a fire
like burning canvass

Isn't it funny that you've become a medium?
the blood of your existence
dripping from a pen instead of a paintbrush
a smear on my already jaded heart

just in case they forgot to tell you
you are brown
port au' prince and san juan sand brown
sift like it too
an under appreciated erosion

I told Blue I wanted to put roses on your grave
demand they landmark your loft
perhaps they already have
with all those high boys walking around Soho
high & mighty
high in class
high off life and that other stuff

for a week and half I've been high off you
trudging my tormented existence with a book
that spoke nothing of your blackness
but your madness
rests heavy on my heart
ghost winds pushing my thoughts a muck

you sit on my wall of fame
everlast gloves pointing toward your beloved sky
surrounded by Frida
someone asked how the most prolific sorrow
and the addict of Burroughs
deserved a prevalence in the same white wall space

they could only understand
if they finger painted their lives with sorrow
not one-poem-grief sorrow
eulogy-for-a-lost-one sorrow
I-don't-want-love-that-is sorrow
I'm talking bout'
the-reason-for-everything-artistic-I-do sorrow
twelve year old punching bag sorrow
running home from school
after missing the first bus
evil on your heels sorrow
busted lip and swollen face sorrow
love-don't-live-here-no-more-it-resides-with-another-woman/man sorrow

my medium was/still is hurt
Frida's her spine
Basquiat his everything
father
mother
sisters
women
dealers
Heroin and Art

(SAME) SAMO THING.

I know what it's like to recall an aborted fetus
purge something you wanted on the lips of a lover
In fact, mine was a poem
ejected from a journal womb
with perforated edges
it was about a girl
who once wanted love like Zora,
little Langston's,
a library,
somewhere to write,
somewhere to paint,
or somewhere other than reality to live

just...
give me a fantasy
too young to perish and too old to live
a rhythmic disaster

like a Jack called Jean
with a cracked crown
and no jill
whom we all seem to be tumbling after.

-riv-

2 comments:

EDOKA said...

Hot- of course.

Little Miss Knobody said...

This is an amazing tribute to Samo! Well-done my friend!