Poetry Explorer

Search Classic and Contemporary Poetry

Search Results

Back to search

Searching...
Author: COLEMAN, WANDA
Matches Found: 743


Coleman, Wanda    Poet's Biography
Alternate Author Name(s): Coleman-straus, Wanda
743 poems available by this author


1746 CHEROKEE NORTH       
First Line: Six stories of sweat, swill and decaying stucco


24 HOURS UP       
First Line: Day. Brings the heat of success
Last Line: Day, but made midnight on schedule


3 AM BREAKFAST AT THE SOUTHTOWN       
First Line: Sistuh baby sistuh cherry cherry cherubim
Last Line: Eyes instead of tears


436 MOONS       
First Line: My graying kinks %my heteromorphic tongue my jealous claws
Last Line: Violence is a language and a bullet %sudden insight


6 A.M. JOG IN THE DARK TO FORGET LAST NIGHT'S BAD DREAM       
First Line: The slap


8 P.M. DISPUTE       
First Line: Featuring pain on drums


A STONEHOLD    Poem Text    


ABOUT FLOWERS       
First Line: Running gag about carnations
Last Line: Every plant that comes here dies


ABOUT GOD & THINGS    Poem Text    
First Line: I want to have your child
Subject(s): African Americans; Man-woman Relationships; Negroes; American Blacks; Male-female Relations


ABOUT MISTAKES       
First Line: When black you can't afford too many


ACCOUNTS PAYABLE       
First Line: I've been reduced to rubber-tipped fingers
Last Line: My days here are numbered


AFRICA       
First Line: Ball-and-jack %a laugh so loud certain people
Last Line: The shadow of a shadow casting shade %on my bones


AFRICAN SLEEPING SICKNESS       
First Line: Four centuries of sleep they say
Last Line: Sing to me, I say. Sing to me of rivers


AFRICAN SLEEPING SICKNESS (2)       
First Line: Orgasmic psychosis -- coming and nevah coming
Last Line: Between my thighs runs the river whiskey and he -- he is a %divin' duck


AFRICAN SLEEPING SICKNESS (3)       
First Line: I sleep to wake and take my sleeping slow
Last Line: I learn by groping where I'm damned to go


AFTER HIS FLIGHT       
First Line: We're back to square one
Last Line: As we douse the light


AFTER THE POEM (3)       
First Line: The reading is over. Satisfied/it was
Last Line: Then grins at me, ear-to-ear %having made his point


AFTERWARDS WE MAKE UP       
First Line: Blood among my tears
Last Line: (synergism abandoned for more %solipsitic venues) %my body his again


AKBAR THE MAD POET       
First Line: Otherwise known as someone else, take luther
Last Line: The offender crushed %in his own hand


AL 1968       
First Line: I stole away those summer nights to lay up in his arms
Last Line: Babe, it's all bullcorn'


ALL ABOUT HUMBUG       
First Line: The street kid from watts cries
Last Line: The streets/skies are gonna roar %and rain blood


ALL AMERICAN SOFT LIFE SWEEPSTAKES       
First Line: The computer printed my name wrong


ALL MAPS TELL LIES       
First Line: Measure for yourself. The united states will
Last Line: And we who take them factually %lost


ALL OF THAT       
First Line: She woke to find the pillow strapped between her
Last Line: Without the benefit of feet


ALSO KNOWN AS THE BISHOP OF BOP       
First Line: 3 days after the mule kicked the coffin over
Last Line: As the walls opened up and invited him in


AMERICAN SONNET (1)       
First Line: The lurid confessions of an ex-cake junky: I blew it
Last Line: To chicago, baby do you want to go


AMERICAN SONNET (10)    Poem Text    
First Line: Our mothers wrung hell and hardtack from row
Subject(s): Slavery; Serfs


AMERICAN SONNET (10)       
First Line: Our mothers wrung hell and hardtack from row
Last Line: Yearning to avenge the raping of the womb %from which we sprang


AMERICAN SONNET (11)       
First Line: The moon is livid white. Pacifica boils
Last Line: He spits. 'and stay there'


AMERICAN SONNET (2)       
First Line: For outshining the halos of heaven's greedy archangels
Last Line: Not for any crime %but being


AMERICAN SONNET (3)       
First Line: Fair splay/pay -- the stuff myths are made of
Last Line: That is not the color of my skin


AMERICAN SONNET (35)    Poem Text     Recitation by Author
First Line: Boooooooo. Spooky ripplings of icy waves. This


AMERICAN SONNET (35)       
First Line: Boooooooo. Spooky ripplings of icy waves. This
Last Line: Usta be young usta be gifted -- still black


AMERICAN SONNET (4)       
First Line: Rejection can kill you
Last Line: All the lights are red all the poets are dead %and there are no norths


AMERICAN SONNET (5)       
First Line: Rusted busted and dusted
Last Line: After supper muthafucka


AMERICAN SONNET (54)       
First Line: Dearest cousin, %forgive this ruined narrative begging the first
Last Line: One-palm island dwells no such beast as joy


AMERICAN SONNET (55)       
First Line: Down to the stingy stingy marrow of my mojo rant
Last Line: Inflames my vigilant soul denies it rest
Variant Title(s): Sonnet: 55
Subject(s): African Americans; Stock Exchange; Wylie, Elinor (1885-1928); Negroes; American Blacks


AMERICAN SONNET (6)       
First Line: Portfolio profligates of creative capitalism
Last Line: What does fame do without money


AMERICAN SONNET (8)       
First Line: Not just another marketeer
Last Line: Maintaining cool under pressure


AMERICAN SONNET (83)       
First Line: Here comes dat nasty music again %that atmospheric ash
Last Line: You will see your comuppance snorting %on the other shore, bow-legged & sneakered


AMERICAN SONNET (86)       
First Line: All our prophets -- dead. All our gold proves lead
Last Line: The mere thought of wetness & not the actuality %all that progress missed. All the beautiful shit


AMERICAN SONNET (9)       
First Line: Love people use things
Last Line: Use people love things


AMERICAN SONNET (91)    Poem Text    
First Line: The gates of mercy slammed on the right foot


AMERICAN URBAN CAMP       
First Line: The economically stimulated thirst for blood; the unrelenting
Last Line: Jonestown, guyana 934


ANALECTS       
First Line: In the world of game best game
Last Line: The street of dreams %is a crowded avenue


AND GOD LIVES IN CHICAGO       
First Line: Another cup of soap opera blood


ANGERED TO SILENCE       
Last Line: More difficult this pen %than killing


APPLEJUICE       
First Line: Dis am da boogerscape where electronic frankensteins
Last Line: The heart is a tourist who can't get a cab


APTITUDE TEST       
First Line: Three black men standing on the corner are
Last Line: The new neighbor from a war-torn country


AR'IOCH       
First Line: Disguised as a man he made his way into her
Last Line: One was not bad for looks her good fleshy musk like mother %never was


ARRIVAL BY SUNRISE       
First Line: At seventeen, daddy hitched into town two
Last Line: Denim coveralls to pin - striped suits and wing - tips


ARS POETICS       
First Line: He came down the mountain
Last Line: And went back to the kitchen


ART IN THE COURT OF THE BLUE FAG       
First Line: Playpoets gather round
Last Line: He is ruler of the realm


ART IN THE COURT OF THE BLUE FAG (2)       
First Line: Twinight earth my flesh quakes
Last Line: The blue fag looks out over sunset. Smiles %traffic for miles


ART IN THE COURT OF THE BLUE FAG (3)       
First Line: Black eye laced in pancake, she sips seven-up
Last Line: And requests that someone piss quick before he %dies of thirst


ART IN THE COURT OF THE BLUE FAG (4)       
First Line: The whine: %bepalmed avenue. Long walk, trying to avoid the burger
Last Line: And when he turned full profile, the pain subsided/journey resumed %I am safe


ART IN THE COURT OF THE BLUE FAG (5)       
First Line: The vacationing clerk is on her way to santa barbara
Last Line: In london he/she all the rant


ART IN THE COURT OF THE BLUE FAG (6)       
First Line: The cross is ready. They have made it strong, electric
Last Line: Bends beneath his crown of thorns %suppresses a yawn


ART IN THE COURT OF THE BLUE FAG (7)       
First Line: The pros & cons of sex preference


ART IN THE COURT OF THE BLUE FAG (8)       
First Line: The page of swords


ART IN THE COURT OF THE BLUE FAG (9)       
First Line: I've swallowed something wrong
Last Line: A placenta of solid gold


ARTICLE IN THE NEWSPAPER       
First Line: He says it's important news about the virus
Last Line: And wish them good health


AS AN ARBUS       
First Line: Bleeding from the shutter butt, weeds nourished
Last Line: Mask-like at the fat tabby jumping spryly into her %skirted lap %ha-ha


AS SEEN THRU WINDOWS       
First Line: Rolled three-quarters down it frees smoke. He picks her up


ASHMAN       
First Line: Over green felt I side-pocket the 8-ball
Last Line: Nuthin' in my purse


AT THE JAZZ CLUB HE BECOMES A GHOST       
First Line: Remember? We were here once, love was a new cut
Last Line: Lover's wallet while he sleeps and steals away
Subject(s): Jazz; Music And Musicians


AT THE RECORD HOP       
First Line: Bobby-soxers exchange clandestine feels
Last Line: Wonder why boys don't like me


AT THE STOP       
First Line: Virgo stella slips out to give
Last Line: Harder I struggle to get out %deeper I go


AUGURIES (1)       
First Line: Pied-eyes rhythm sticks & ginger root
Last Line: Are you watching the skies


AUGURIES (2)       
First Line: Rose hips ginseng dandelion & dill
Last Line: To call the authorities


AUGURIES (3)       
First Line: Reefer champagne c-notes & mellow
Last Line: Johnny hartman johnny hartman


AUGURIES (4)       
First Line: Wind chimes patchouli wicker & sage
Last Line: I want to kill something


AUGURIES (5)       
First Line: Nightshade tiger balm ash & talc
Last Line: Rain and sun in the same skin


AUGURIES (6)       
First Line: Adder's-tongue jacaranda rosewood & oak
Last Line: Blood of the shaman -- head of the crow


AUGUST 29TH 1970       
First Line: Ruben they are knockin' in the door
Last Line: Man -- they sendin' you into manana


AUNT JESSIE       
First Line: She wanted pretty fine
Last Line: She always wanted. Things %turned her face to the wall %died


AUNT TERESA       
First Line: There was vanity in her colored lady stiffness


AYIN OR NO ONE       
First Line: Wind or voice of god
Last Line: One traveling flesh of the other over and over this ritual coitus/%rendering of %delirium


BABY I'VE GOT THE REDS       
First Line: Drams of men night heat I sleep rut hard nipples & cold %fear
Last Line: Baby -- I've got the reds


BABY MAKER       
First Line: For five figures and the better fortune


BAD    Poem Text    
First Line: Night at the taco house
Last Line: Everybody kept their distance
Subject(s): Waiters & Waitresses


BAD       
First Line: Night at the taco house
Last Line: And from that day till the day I quit %everybody kept their distance
Subject(s): Waiters And Waitresses


BAD EYES & THE WRONG PRESCRIPTION       
First Line: The forbidden door is made of locks
Last Line: Betrayed by secret winks


BAPTISM       
First Line: Riptide washes over %and the depths of oceanic rhythms
Last Line: And the couches and tables catch fire %a burning in the wetness


BARRY'S GOODBYE       
First Line: I don't know the man. He lies on top of me


BEACHES. WHY I DON'T CARE FOR THEM       
First Line: Associations: years of being ashamed/my sometimes
Last Line: With me I might even let you teach me how to tread water


BEATING HEAD       
First Line: I went to the psychiatrist and I explained to him that every


BEDTIME STORY    Poem Text    
First Line: Bed calls. I sit in the dark in the living room


BEDTIME STORY       
First Line: Bed calls. I sit in the dark in the living room
Last Line: Have invaded it searching for food


BELLGLORIA       
First Line: The ugly bark - tone girl has a pock - marked soul and one
Last Line: In fashionable blinking for the eyeless needy mob


BERNADETTE NEXT DOOR       
First Line: Bernadette her shrill terrified wind
Last Line: I'm burning candles against you


BESERK ON HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD       
First Line: These days fat pigeons coo
Last Line: The phone ate my last coin


BETWEEN HOT TOES & COOL RAIN       
First Line: Englassed in longing & stale cigarette stink
Last Line: Of shoe leather. For the pause before the knock


BEYOND THE LAKE OF MEMORIES       
First Line: Up on cherry blossom lane
Last Line: Pop. You will come back to me and bless my heart


BIG FOOT       
First Line: Sho 'nuff sizables


BIRD EVIDENCE       
First Line: She-swan on water. Above a honking. The unkind
Last Line: As rare as the pink pelican


BLACK AGAINST THE NIGHT       
First Line: What's looked for is many bleeds ago
Last Line: Besides. There ain't cash enuff


BLACK BULLFIGHTER       
First Line: Played flamenco


BLACK DUST    Poem Text    
First Line: To be dust / to be dust
Last Line: Blow / away
Subject(s): Dust


BLACK DUST       
First Line: To be dust %to be dust
Last Line: And %just %blow %away
Subject(s): Dust


BLACK IRIS       
First Line: Undergoing ecstasy a woman sings and plays jazz piano
Last Line: Such thoughts recreate the world %and this is good


BLACK MADONNA    Poem Text    
First Line: Screaming legions/her children chase her down shame
Last Line: Father, the crucifixion did not take
Subject(s): Fetishes; Obsessions


BLACK MADONNA       
First Line: Screaming legions/her children chase her down shame
Last Line: Father, the crucifixion did not take
Subject(s): Fetishes; Obsessions


BLACK MAN ACCIDENTALLY KILLED HIMSELF       
First Line: Trying to protect his wife and daughter


BLACK POET DEATH ATTICA 92A2687       
First Line: Maybe if I had grown up white in tulsa
Last Line: But snores and the blinking of the soul


BLACK ROSE       
First Line: Bush roots go deep and briars climb twist snake
Last Line: Into the labyrinth beyond her labia


BLACK WOMAN'S HOLE       
First Line: She crawls in it for the only
Last Line: It the world knew it would put her hole up for sale and %turn her out


BLACK-HANDED CURSE       
First Line: May the sky widen between your eyes %and a storm twist across your thoughts
Last Line: May a small rodent eat your last words


BLUE GLASS       
First Line: My thighs open, release his face
Last Line: What I see the world thru


BLUE LADY THINGS       
First Line: Lavender platform shoes. A dying white camellia


BLUE PERIOD       
First Line: Baby baby what I'm talking about is getting over


BLUES FOR THE MAN ON SAX (1)       
First Line: The horn the horn blows


BLUES FOR THE MAN ON SAX (2)       
First Line: Longsleep pooped out at the party, double duty got
Last Line: Came from, a mystery. It pierced the clock and made %nighta permanent thing


BLUES FOR THE MAN ON SAX (3)       
First Line: Reed-colored lips to mouthpiece
Last Line: To put his bare ass up period


BLUES OFF KEY       
First Line: In the last life she was certain. Thus
Last Line: Of her glass and echoes of a slamming door


BOJACK SAM DEALIN' MAN       
First Line: See evil speak evil do evil
Last Line: Leaves behind a pair of shoes size 9


BONES       
First Line: Throw them %and they come up with the certainty
Last Line: It's right down to them


BONES OF CONTENTION       
First Line: He described you as a cracker battle axe
Last Line: And he will never understand


BOTTOM OUT BLUES       
First Line: You scoot along the bottom


BOURGEOIS NEGRO ROOTS       
First Line: I thought I'd be a good goody - gather


BRASS MONKEY GOSPEL       
First Line: Catch a light gal keep a light gal


BREAST EXAMINATION       
First Line: In the shower naked
Last Line: Wakes the eagle %I take flight


BRIEF VISIT TO PARADISE       
First Line: No. He is not responsible for this fix %I'm in even if he
Last Line: With the uproarious laughter of roses


BROKEN CAR WINDOW       
First Line: Our shocked eyes pierce
Last Line: Do it in bed like proper married folk


BRUNO       
First Line: Washing six-month's worth of dirt & the devil off
Last Line: Like my raggedy hand-to-mouth


BRUTE STRENGTH       
First Line: Last night blonde spitfire angie dickinson beat steel-eyed
Last Line: My first husband wasn't much. I could take %his best punch


BUBBLE EYES DECLARES WAR       
First Line: Arms were taken up at avalon & manchester
Last Line: I'd give something great back to my people


BUDDHA BELLY       
First Line: The circle in the center of the hole
Last Line: Dinner was tasty %who made noise


BURNT       
First Line: Smog and the gray asthmatic non
Last Line: And less 'tween my thighs


BUT, RUBY MY DEAR    Poem Text    
First Line: He hikes those narrow chords one more time
Last Line: Of discordant fusion / scaling
Subject(s): Jazz; Music & Musicians


BUTTAH       
First Line: Endless wobbles %when seen rear-view we sistuhs
Last Line: And many have been reborn of it


BWANA MOON       
First Line: The black frazzle I'm worn to writhes
Last Line: He chirps like birds a flock of turds


BY WATCHIN' DADDY I LEARN ABOUT MEN & STUFF       
First Line: After rising early for work
Last Line: Few women speak the language of men


CAFE SOCIETY       
First Line: Camel walks & monkey talks


CANCER       
First Line: The jagged cutting of skin
Last Line: A silent prayer %you get some rest now


CAPTAIN JERKOFF AND LA GIOCONDA       
First Line: Every woman is a lesbian - overt or convert


CASTING CALL       
First Line: Snow in the blood. My lover's coo
Last Line: Unable to remember my name %on hiatus
Subject(s): Job Hunting


CASTING CALL (2)    Poem Text    
First Line: Snow in the blood. My lover's coo
Last Line: Peg me in the hole of kingfish
Subject(s): Job Hunting


CASTING CALL (2)       
First Line: Something about amos. He wore his hat like
Last Line: Peg me in the hole of kingfish


CHAIR AFFAIR       
First Line: The chair bites me, angrily I kick it
Last Line: Says I, 'the word is hu(e) as in color + man'


CHAIR AFFAIR (ALTERNATE VERSION)       
First Line: The chair bites me. Angrily I kick it
Last Line: Chairs are the true plague of mankind' %--chairman mao


CHANCE MUSIC       
First Line: Cultural felo-d-se
Last Line: Pariah makes the white man rich


CHAPTER 2 OF THE STORY       
First Line: The assistant librarian was an old white woman
Last Line: Hating her more for that


CHIP ON MY SHOULDER BELONGS TO HER       
First Line: In the pleasure of his knocking it off I see
Last Line: Our new love on hold till %he lets go of her


CHUCK MAN       
First Line: That loosiana swamp dog put some funny stuff
Last Line: To work his mojo he lick my pearl to %feel it glow. Makes my hair grow


CIVILIZED PLAGUE       
First Line: A friend and I were discussing the local scarcity
Last Line: Rumored he has the virus


CLOSING TIME       
First Line: A bouquet of promises withers in the grim
Last Line: No arrival no return


CLOWN MEDITATION       
First Line: I am unsure. I go about the endless dream
Last Line: There be space without boundaries?


CLOWN SHOW       
First Line: La lez says she's waited five years to meet me


CO-STAR       
First Line: She liked his scenes best. He, his sephardic darkness, his bluesy
Last Line: Mouth. At that moment she became brazen. He kissed back


COFFEE       
First Line: Steam rises over my nose
Last Line: To drink. It made you get blacker %and blacker


COLD WATER CANYON       
First Line: The splash of bone cold reality


COLLAGE    Poem Text    
First Line: Summers / summers
Last Line: Summers / summers
Subject(s): Family Life; Summer


COLLAGE       
First Line: Summers %summers %summers
Last Line: Vitamin c tablets & cod liver oil %summers %summers %summers


COLORISM       
First Line: He and I sat by poolside
Last Line: Humph!' he snorted. 'how do %you think I feel?'


CONFERENCE       
First Line: They cross the earth south to north east to west


CONFESSIONS NOIRES       
First Line: I am afraid of telephones
Last Line: I am afraid of the light %at the end of a poem


COSMIC RAINBOW NIGGAH JAM       
First Line: Too soon in this noon of noons
Last Line: Turning to steam inside their skins


COUSIN MARY    Poem Text    
First Line: Goes way back to the days/my father a young man
Last Line: Her song to me across years
Subject(s): Jazz; Music & Musicians


CREATURE OF TWO WORLDS       
First Line: Not gravity. The weight of worry
Last Line: Not gravity. Love %weights me to earth


CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR       
First Line: I am guilty of not earning enuff money to
Last Line: And yes the world owes me


CROAKERS       
First Line: On harlem avenue on gladys they're dunk off
Last Line: Skidding into the crack of no return


CURRENT EVENTS       
First Line: The welcoming committee
Last Line: There's a hole in france where the %naked jani dance


CURRENT EVENTS (2)       
First Line: The business of the dead is booming
Last Line: Fresh off the griddle


CURRENT EVENTS (3)       
First Line: He licks his lips
Last Line: Yes, well, but isn't it drama of the highest order


DANCER IN THE WINDOW       
First Line: Perform for the world may it knock at the door come in
Last Line: She separates the cotton from the boll


DANGEROUS SUBJECTS       
First Line: The hand under the skirt
Last Line: Why the cookie was stolen & who got the last bite


DARWINIAN EBB       
First Line: What was there to begin with
Last Line: In which we were captured in the margins %and breathed one breath


DAVID POLION       
First Line: An 11-year-old boy was fatally wounded one
Last Line: As though I am his mother


DAY OF REMEMBRANCE       
First Line: When you salt my wound, gentle hand


DEAR LITTLE BOY       
First Line: In lipstick and nail enamel
Last Line: Waiting to count your %night's take


DEAR MAMA (2)       
First Line: You don't know or maybe you do
Last Line: Hurts to swallow those old beaten borrowed green backs %whole %hurts to know %it'll hurt worse if yo


DEAR MAMA (4)       
First Line: When did we become friends


DEAR PETER PAN       
First Line: Your son really looks like you


DEATH 211       
First Line: He sits there at the bus stop


DEATH 213    Poem Text    
First Line: This time only one body on the divan
Last Line: And this time. No savior
Subject(s): Fetishes; Obsessions


DEATH 213       
First Line: This time only one body on the divan
Last Line: And this time, no savior
Subject(s): Fetishes; Obsessions


DEATH DON'T DRINK WATER       
First Line: Death don't like warm hands
Last Line: Candy and has a peculiar sweetness all its own


DEATH OF A FRIEND       
First Line: What he died of
Last Line: He she they %pray


DECOR       
First Line: Home: an assessment of town newsprint shelf paper
Last Line: King size bed in bad need of change


DECOR (2)       
First Line: Word processor digital clock books galore
Last Line: It is time to revise history


DEJA FAIT       
First Line: He sleeps in the exact same spot he slept in
Last Line: Mouth echoing bitch


DESERT MOTHER       
First Line: Under lava mud ash
Last Line: Her crater runs deep a volcano %once thought extinct


DEUCE OF CUPS       
First Line: The black would-be poet told me a story
Last Line: To fill the cup with cum


DICKSBORO REFLECTIONS       
First Line: The glass spider spins passion's web
Last Line: Not what you do, who


DID AND DONE       
First Line: Abandoned avenue, fog rolls in. A night in 1974


DINOSAUR SONNET       
First Line: Care critique custody & control
Last Line: Beauty's most beastly most abhorrent crime


DISCLOSURE       
First Line: My tattered fence stands upside down like
Last Line: We twist out our obsessions on unkempt lawn


DOCTOR SPIDER       
First Line: Has an office in beverly hills
Last Line: Another fly caught in the web


DOE EYES       
First Line: Unblinking. Dazed
Last Line: Waitin' for words which, unlike the end of your world %never come


DOG SUICIDE       
First Line: On the harbor freeway
Last Line: Wondered if that dog knew something I didn't


DOING BATTLE WITH THE WOLF       
First Line: I drip blood %on my way to and from work
Last Line: Wolf howls and the roar of police sirens


DOLLS       
First Line: I murdered my dolls


DOLLS (2)       
First Line: Atop the toy chest blank blue eyes focus on infinity


DOMINOES       
First Line: She breaks her back while he's
Last Line: Frivolity of black men slammin' bones


DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE       
First Line: Oh I tailed her thru beverly hills her ashen blonde locks
Last Line: I spill coffee on the rug


DR. MUNGO       
First Line: Poet to poet a rage score
Last Line: Heard the hasty shuffle of your stagger %and am returning the call


DREAM       
First Line: Gets up and walks
Last Line: Air and crying to be %forgiven


DREAM 1031       
First Line: In terror I wake but can't rise
Last Line: Someone has tiptoed into the room and has clicked off %the television set


DREAM 1218       
First Line: I snap out of my distraction and hurry from the
Last Line: Remember the letters I forgot to mail yesterday


DREAM 1225       
First Line: Playing the central avenue tour guide, I say
Last Line: By the time I make bail


DREAM 1226       
First Line: My slim pale blond lover fondles my locks as
Last Line: The covers and watch the sunrise


DREAM 1288       
First Line: Walking barefooted thru the streets in a trance, I'm in my thin
Last Line: I'll please come and do a reading


DREAM 1319       
First Line: I am in my father's house
Last Line: I do so at once


DREAM 1345       
First Line: I wake to the report of hard-running water. My
Last Line: Alone and still shouting


DREAM 1812       
First Line: Nude in bed %I raise my left thigh to pick at a troubling
Last Line: Hmmmmm,' he says, 'the next time it gets hard, call me'


DREAM 2610       
First Line: The professor is explaining the
Last Line: Bleeding in my ear


DREAM 27       
First Line: I do not like this coming of the white man'


DREAM 28    Poem Text    
First Line: The ace high avenue queen of shades
Last Line: And awake to find them full
Subject(s): Dreams; Sleep; Nightmares


DREAM 28       
First Line: The ace high avenue queen of shades
Last Line: And awake to find them full
Subject(s): Dreams; Sleep


DREAM 3232       
First Line: Globules of silver light recede
Last Line: Second rain of storm-laden spring


DREAM 4994       
First Line: A chunk of my heart breaks away and floats off
Last Line: I am much smaller than I remember


DREAM 516       
First Line: Witchin' hour ensues as I cruise a blues neighborhood
Last Line: Am clutching the complete works of %william shakespeare


DREAM 522       
First Line: Young bloods got me riding in the car


DREAM 5272       
First Line: Manchild and lover in tow, I
Last Line: Back into the sheets and buries his head %under the pillows


DREAM 549       
First Line: I leave the house thru the front door
Last Line: Isn't it obvious?' I say


DREAM 711       
First Line: I appear at the desk and present my papers
Last Line: Good,' he smiles, 'I was afraid you'd woken up'


DREAM 731       
First Line: My hair in braids, I am dressed in a cloth of rainbow
Last Line: Singing in an unfamiliar tongue


DREAM 820       
First Line: Cracks and dust %in the room's subfusc light I become my shadow
Last Line: Get up. I'm angry about that %too


DREAM 924       
First Line: The trip starts on the limitless freeway of my thoughts. The
Last Line: I did not wake up today


DREAMWALK: 1.       
First Line: You spring up pretty in the 50s if not quite pink
Last Line: Know that god aka johnny will punish them when they grow up


DREAMWALK: 3.       
First Line: There are, you know, certain names that are
Last Line: The class among the badniks who destroy the future


DREAMWALK: 4.       
First Line: Buzzy hive dream of honey - coated expectations
Last Line: Out there for you but grasshoppers and deeper holes


DREAMWALK: 5.       
First Line: You're too old to cherish that 33 rpm vinyl lp pop
Last Line: Of music. That's strictly for paddies


DREAMWALK: 6.       
First Line: When no one special is looking you escape into
Last Line: Queen of sheba you are, condescend to come down


DREAMWALK: 7.       
First Line: Fear drives you to tears and out of the
Last Line: Hurry, you whisper, please hurry


DREAMWALK: 8.       
First Line: They kicked you out of after - school charm
Last Line: Into adulthood - alongside sam's roundtrip ticket to nam


DRONE    Poem Text    
First Line: I am a clerk
Last Line: I clerk
Subject(s): Office Employees; Clerks


DRONE       
First Line: I am a clerk
Last Line: I am a medical billing clerk %I am a clerk %I clerk
Subject(s): Office Employees


EASTER SUNRISE       
First Line: In black down the deserted avenue of god I trod
Last Line: Bells the clang of bells and %crazed laughter


EATER OF GOOD BOOKS       
First Line: At the table I am alone
Last Line: Fat on the rich yet unfulfilling


ECONOMICS OF SKIN       
First Line: Feeling-based ritual is shunned as is
Last Line: Inside this poor person is a rich one %struggling to get out


EDGE OF DAWN       
First Line: He checks in at midnight to complete his peace. Thoughts
Last Line: Two words: pardon me


EDUCATIONAL LAB COUNSELOR       
First Line: Our son's got math problems. His stepdad my
Last Line: Of course we may be wrong


EL HAJJ MALIK EL-SHABAZZ       
First Line: Yes. They have taken your tongue


EMMETT TILL       
First Line: River jordan run red
Last Line: And was carried forth to that promised land


EMOTIONAL CON MEETS A VIRGINAL IDEAL       
First Line: Don't ask me where I've been
Last Line: You wouldn't want to pay the price %of my confession


END OF THE CENTURY       
First Line: Social revolt has been numbed by
Last Line: Even get out the gate


ENEMY       
First Line: It's been one hellified snot of days


ESPANTALEPSIS       
First Line: No one asks after me
Last Line: Into this lean and lonely shade


ESSAY ON LANGUAGE (1)       
First Line: This began somewhere
Last Line: This ends and begins here


ESSAY ON LANGUAGE (2)       
First Line: Before slavery %my people-tongue (drum) was sure. There were no excesses.
Last Line: It be about bones doin' somethang


ESSAY ON LANGUAGE (3)       
First Line: Lately I make sacrifice
Last Line: Death is to be fluent in them all


ESSAY ON LANGUAGE (4)       
First Line: The question of meaning always arises
Last Line: But ignorance is to the bone


ESSAY ON LANGUAGE (5)       
First Line: Logopathy/body jabber
Last Line: Lift me thru my skin


ETHERIDGE       
First Line: He slept thru his ascension of the northern latitudes
Last Line: His blaze interrupted the sermon and singed the robes


ETHNOGRAPHS       
First Line: Kin to the dubbing yaw of a galleon
Last Line: Everything including the oink


EYES BLEED PICTURES; TALES OF A BLACK ADVENTURER       
First Line: My eyes bleed pictures %he and I


FALSE SPRING       
First Line: An uncanny raucous chirp chirp is heard
Last Line: Even the trees are deceived


FAST EDDIE       
First Line: Hair shaved to the scalp like poboys do
Last Line: Ever - and - always, red's girl


FAT       
First Line: Over skunk, laughter and dago red, me and kika were jawing
Last Line: She said gently and fired the first in a long series of menthol %cigarettes


FEBRUARY 11TH 1990    Poem Text    
First Line: This year the leaves turn red green black
Subject(s): Brutus, Dennis


FEBRUARY 11TH 1990       
First Line: This year the leaves turn red green black
Last Line: Having spent my greediness in a ritual of joy


FEMALE       
First Line: Friend girl says 'trick a man into love'
Last Line: According to her definition %I'm not


FIGUEROA       
First Line: Vamp 1970 south on motel row


FIGURES OF SPEECH       
First Line: The squeeze-on %last time the window was broken out
Last Line: Is meaningless now %has the value of zip


FILM 739       
First Line: Naked. Before the camera %his eyes


FIRESONG 1964       
First Line: In his yellowing years quang duc
Last Line: Bursts from his flesh to rush the indigo


FIRST DAY OF SPRING 1985       
First Line: Lust for liberty sprouts seventeen dead
Last Line: Who remembers the tongue of the man who has no tongue


FLAWED REPETITIONS       
First Line: Coming here the last time I thought
Last Line: How many stabs before I pierce his skull


FLIGHT MEDITATION       
First Line: When heart people are
Last Line: My time, my time, where is my time?


FLIGHT OF THE CALIFORNIA CONDOR (2)       
First Line: Mass migration began in the 50s
Last Line: But in its own


FLIGHT OF THE CALIFORNIA CONDOR (3)       
First Line: Over ham & eggs they jaw about how it was


FOR ME WHEN I AM MYSELF       
First Line: The enhanced storage of mother-fat
Last Line: To hold us here, now %just like this


FOR ONCE       
First Line: That night he woke sudden
Last Line: And tolerate the stone


FOR THE GIRL WITH CEREBRAL PALSY       
First Line: You dive into a spasm and twist your sweetness
Last Line: Hands/jagged pieces of tissue too frail %even for tears


FOR THE SAKE OF THE COOL       
First Line: The magician stumbles in
Last Line: For the sake of


FOUR BEAUTIES       
First Line: The sex technician
Last Line: Blood, having reserved a crypt for recreation, rest and %resurrection


FOUR MEN       
First Line: Just now it was summer


FRICK FRO       
First Line: Oh so negrodocious
Last Line: And the prevalence of violets


FRICK FRO (2)       
First Line: Poverty is its own calamity
Last Line: Meant love for us all?


FRICK FRO (3)       
First Line: Smell the sweat & suede of the tapdaddies swilling
Last Line: Word - warriors snake dancing in the drum


FROZEN IN THE BEAM OF HEADLIGHTS/EYES ON HOLD       
Last Line: I am left to face it alone


GATHERING BONES       
First Line: Comate. Fallen. Lost. Ago


GEORGE 1914       
First Line: Twinight %boxed in by shadow. In the corner he dukes it out %with shades
Last Line: I howl to bring back the dead


GEORGE 1990       
First Line: He got nearer and nearer
Last Line: The nearer he got the more self-contained


GEORGE DEATH ANNIVERSARY       
First Line: Papa do you hear the grass grow
Last Line: To fill your absence


GET RICH QUICK       
First Line: He nurtured the seeds, then we bought some


GHETTO MOMENT       
First Line: He's there, sits very still barely breathing waiting for my
Last Line: A passel of young boys


GHOST OF A DANCE       
First Line: It was one of those moments when she wanted
Last Line: It was more than she could stand


GHOST OF MANIC SILENCE       
First Line: Yes, camus said %death does
Last Line: To seize my final solitude


GIRLFRIENDS       
First Line: We are faced with the irrefutable analyses
Last Line: We write therefore we are


GIVE ME TIME       
First Line: Give me jazz afternoon
Last Line: Even jazz can't go there


GOD WANT HAS POSSESSED US       
First Line: His disquiet grates %the ringing up of zeros


GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN       
First Line: Gone real gone the good die gone
Last Line: At my grave dying to get in


GONWANDALAND       
First Line: Fortune cookie say: there will always be


GOSSIP       
First Line: She calls me up and tells me


GOT LOTS OF LUMPS ON ME       
First Line: That's where mama used that tree limb when
Last Line: Don't be silly. That's just how my head is made


HAITIAN NIGHT       
First Line: No names -- please
Last Line: Cavern of skulls & bones in the cool rain of jungle dust and%light


HAND DANCE       
First Line: This is the ritual of he hand becoming
Last Line: Here. A forest of hands where the only fauna %are my eyes


HE TAKES HER TO THE MOVIES       
First Line: At the walk-in concession counter his
Last Line: After the movies %they hold hands


HE TELLS ME THERE WILL BE NOTHING       
Last Line: Nothing to burn


HE TOOK HIS LOVE IN PARTS       
First Line: Hid her stark white teeth in the sugar cannister. He
Last Line: Except those elusive eyes


HEAVY DAUGHTER BLUES       
First Line: The t.V. Is teaching my children hibakusha


HECUBA ON SUNSET (1)       
First Line: I step into the bus into her eyes


HECUBA ON SUNSET (2)       
First Line: I went to the well to wash my toe
Last Line: What time old witch


HEEBEEGEEBEES       
First Line: Are transmitted by closets
Last Line: Live for 48-hours on the rims of dreams


HERITAGE       
First Line: The dakota man came to the party
Last Line: They were the same


HIGH TIME LOVERS       
First Line: So they never had anything together


HIS COMMENTS AFTER HER HANGING       
First Line: A few days after the workshop
Last Line: And you know, she wasn't a bad looking woman %not at all


HIS EYES INTO THE ROOM       
First Line: Shattering silence a gun full of bullets
Last Line: I've played this scene too many times %I must like it


HIS HAIR       
First Line: I am ever picking it from my body
Last Line: And time to time they make their way %into my mouth


HIS OLD FLAME LADY VENICE       
First Line: So they kicked him off the beach
Last Line: His life, that woman, venice %she had it all


HIS ONE AND ONLY       
First Line: Your daddy and I eloped, mama confessed forty years
Last Line: Compliments of stork limousine and diaper service


HIS WOMAN HIS PARTY HIS PRICE       
First Line: It was another great party
Last Line: A man in severe pain. A man bawlin'


HOLDING THE SIDEWALK DOWN       
First Line: It is an american universal peculiar to certain black men


HOLLYWOOD THEOLOGY       
First Line: The lions didn't eat enuff christians
Last Line: On second thought, I'll follow mister chan it's safer


HOLLYWOOD ZEN       
First Line: Anticipation as good as actuality
Last Line: The rhythm of life is the run of the jogger


HOMAGE TO AN OLD WHITE LADY GROWN ILL       
First Line: She had it all. She wants it back
Last Line: She sees herself


HOUSE OF BLUE LIGHTS       
First Line: I find it at 5 am in the cincinnati rain
Last Line: Sleep until his blood wakes you


HOW DOES IT HURT       
First Line: Tell me, how does it hurt
Last Line: Show me, where does it hurt


HOW TO FIX A BAD MAN HEX       
First Line: Creole mama say get a pint of whiskey and 4 quinine


HUH       
First Line: Watcha gonna do girl


HYDROQUEEN       
First Line: Chilly chilly the air bleeds drama
Last Line: She has learned all there is to know about the cycles of %water


I AIN'T YO EARTHMAMA       
First Line: Boogers are not my forte
Last Line: We can relax in the cool thereafter


I AIN'T YO EARTHMAMA (2)       
First Line: Pardon me, but you're standing on my stomach
Last Line: So quit stickin' your tarzan in my jane


I DIED WITH THE FIRST BLOW & WAS REBORN WRONG       
First Line: You stranger, you call yourself my friend
Last Line: You! Stranger. You call yourself my champion


I IMAGINE THE ANGELS OF RAGE       
First Line: This is the year of the thirty - nine
Last Line: And the endless rain of crosses


I LIVE FOR MY CAR       
First Line: Can't let go of it. To live is to drive. To have it function
Last Line: To drive is to live


I REMEMBER ROMANCE IN THE CHEVY GRAVEYARD       
First Line: The night was cold the naugahyde was cold
Last Line: Until it burst into a shower of lost names


I USED TO BE SO FRANK       
First Line: She yelped and bayed
Last Line: When there was nothing bad outside %trying to get in


I.S. IN THE PURPLE FELT HAT (2)       
First Line: The kiss taken in shadow


I.S. IN THE PURPLE FELT HAT (3)       
First Line: Walnut corridors & double dead-bolted doors %a


IDENTIFYING MARKS       
First Line: Raised %black mole 3/4 inch in diameter on nape of left cocoa breast


IMITATION OF DEATH       
First Line: Here sit I at the womb of my desire here
Last Line: At the site of excavation. Hauled skyward %to be resentenced


IMPERIAL HIGHWAY EXIT HOME (2)       
First Line: Eight years ago down the south end


IN A NEAR EMPTY ROOM       
First Line: Peach-on-peach walls and linen tablecloths
Last Line: Days to keep themselves in notes


IN THAT OTHER FANTASY WHERE WE LIVE FOREVER    Poem Text    
First Line: We were never caught


IN THE KITCHEN MY POTATOES ARE POLEMICAL       
First Line: English %the scab across my people-tongue
Last Line: If I put my head in the pot


INDIAN SUMMER       
First Line: We suffer heat %lying down
Last Line: Wish there was something else %I could take off


INTERVIEWEE       
First Line: Clean crisp banana shirt


INTRUDER       
First Line: I have broken and entered poetry's house. Where have they
Last Line: Unclean/unholy. And there is nothing here worthy of theft


INVITATION TO A GUNFIGHTER       
First Line: You rode into town on a mighty tall horse, durango
Last Line: And leave you face up in the sun


ISM       
First Line: Tired I count the ways in which it determines my life
Last Line: When I would speak of other things


IT SHOULD'VE BEEN A RAINY DAY       
First Line: But sun was electric bright in the razzling blue


JACKET       
First Line: He has it on again


JASS MAN       
First Line: Fo him all womens ho


JAZZ WAZZ       
First Line: My heart in my ear his baby we need to talk jazz
Last Line: Each time we pretend you are never on my mind


JAZZ WHINE       
First Line: I was reborn in a massive trunk cascading forward
Last Line: Till my eyes began to bleed and I could no longer find my ears


JERRY 1965       
First Line: Being with him is being accepted/his wife
Last Line: When hope went sex followed


JERRY 1969       
First Line: Yes I promised I'd follow in a month or two


JOB HUNTER       
First Line: Ridin' the newsprint want-ad range
Last Line: And death is an elevator on its way %down to the lobby
Subject(s): Job Hunting


JOE TWO WINES       
First Line: My liver hurts. The doctors say ...'


JOSEPHINE YOUR BIG MOUTH       
First Line: Was what was done got you in trouble


JUICE MONEY       
First Line: Looking for meaning I motor in circles towards
Last Line: And they say good black don't crack %still arguing god


JUMP SONG       
First Line: Put on your white bone sneakers
Last Line: You meet your maker


JUNE STREET       
First Line: Nights we cruise the lush dark rich beyond reach


JUST ANOTHER HOLLYWOOD SUMMER       
First Line: High noon on mercury


JUST BEFORE GEORGE RISES       
First Line: Fever consumes him
Last Line: Here we sit in his final hours %suspended


KATHY (2)       
First Line: Rattle those chains restless spirit of
Last Line: Some loves die hard


KING CREOLE       
First Line: They gather in graceland to lick your bones


KOANS       
First Line: If a lone black man
Last Line: And is always happy


KOANS (2)       
First Line: How does a nation %repay the debt
Last Line: With no heart see


LA DOLCE MORTE       
First Line: It was a particularly tasty last bite


LADY OF THE CANS       
First Line: The pungent putrid stink of america's bung hole


LAINPAY UTHTRAY       
First Line: Reality arrives at 7 a.M. And circles the block
Last Line: Fits neatly between perforations


LANDING PLACE       
First Line: Purple rad and gold sands endless stretching
Last Line: I'm not like her at all


LAS TURISTAS NEGRAS GRANDE       
First Line: My feet kiss the pavement on castillo
Last Line: Wind against the rocks %sea sucking the shore


LATE 80S PARTY       
First Line: The dude who opens the door is as thin as
Last Line: Really not where it's at


LATE BROADCAST NEWS       
First Line: Six black men were killed and more than a
Last Line: Be subdued by such a magnitude of force


LATE ONE NIGHT       
First Line: Two weeks before her obituary appeared I was sitting
Last Line: Show but not before I cop some of them ribs


LAYING DOWN BLUES       
First Line: Sometimes I get the blues and want to lay down
Last Line: Get up before the mirror. Force a grin


LETTER TO MY OLDER SISTER       
First Line: She died before christening and, therefore
Last Line: And if you can't be kind, please, be fair. %yours


LETTER TO MY OLDER SISTER (2)       
First Line: Dear georgiana
Last Line: It is I scratching against this silence


LEVELS OF MEANING       
First Line: A woman burns. The woman in the house burning
Last Line: The woman everyone fears because she's made of fire


LIBRARY       
First Line: Walking his halls -- a wonder
Last Line: Reads love never found


LIFE AS A CARTOON       
First Line: (you can't use that phrase %someone's already made it fa-fa-fa-famous)
Last Line: I'm cut, I bleed ink


LIFE AS A CARTOON (2)       
First Line: (penned in a multicultural rainbow -
Last Line: Again!!! Hohohohoho


LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT       
First Line: Before boxing quit him, papa was a golden gloved
Last Line: Bolt splintered and the hope bled from busted knuckles


LIKE LOVE       
First Line: We're strugglin' to have meaning yet avoid
Last Line: A burglar over a pair of shoes our days spent as %carelessly as pennies


LIKE LOVE (2)       
First Line: They could be heard thru the walls
Last Line: Curtaining the wall between them as he slams the door


LIVE FAST DIE SLOW ANIMALS       
First Line: Erotogenic sensory pits


LORD BILLY'S WOMAN       
First Line: He loved her on her glossy surface


LOS ANGELES BORN & BURIED       
First Line: Hear the automoblie coffins? They drive crazy drive wild


LOVE BANDIT       
First Line: I'm in a place where there are no thieves
Last Line: It shimmers in the center %of a barren heart


LOVE BANDIT (2)       
First Line: Sister, he says, you wear the color of our blood
Last Line: Desert of never having touched yet forever twined


LOVIN' BREAKFAST BLUES       
First Line: I want cream in my coffee, baby
Last Line: It tastes so doggone good to me


LUZ       
First Line: I remember you the way one remembers a bad meal. This
Last Line: Who read and wrote %in public


LYRIC       
First Line: White-eyes wave across aisle
Last Line: A drama done in clap, limp pricks and midnight calls to %mama


MACHOSPITAL       
First Line: The child screams. Screams for mother. Screams
Last Line: They're precious, all of them, is how I look at it -- %service


MAINTENANCE ENGINEER PART TIME       
First Line: After the long day's hustle, papa returned
Last Line: But first stop - sinkers, hot chocolate and smiles


MALE ORDER CATALOG       
First Line: Polished cotton hawaiian green & purple-brown print


MAN BEHIND THE WOMAN       
First Line: His tongue pursues me thrugh a wake-sleep
Last Line: Lumbering along hollywood avenue, I seek the savior


MAN WHO SAW HALLEY'S COMET THE LAST TIME AROUND       
First Line: It is said the light finds us


MAN WITH THE HOUSE ON THE SHORE ATOP THE CLIFFS IN GHANA       


MARRIAGE BY CAPTURE       
First Line: Jackrabbit fever: he wants to fuck, she wants to discuss
Last Line: All the women fainted


MARRIAGE OF BODIES       
First Line: Hungry in dark city
Last Line: It is tale told by the watts prophets signifying


MASTECTOMY    Poem Text    
First Line: The fall of
Subject(s): Breast Cancer


MASTECTOMY       
First Line: The fall of %velvet plum points and umber aureolae
Last Line: Sweet sweet mama you taste so


MEAN MACHINE       
First Line: Eight point star-faceted lasers


MEANWHILE IN MANHATTAN       
First Line: Bad sushi %the future takes a bullet. On the a-train up from
Last Line: My name is more than he'll ever know


MEDIOCRE MADONNA       
First Line: When god passed out the baby fat


MESSAGE FROM XANADU       
First Line: The henna-haired waif appears in a spinster's dream
Last Line: Dear darling die famous or don't die


MESSAGE FROM XANADU (2)       
First Line: Never use your spirit name
Last Line: They will have you assassinated by pianos


MESSAGE FROM XANADU (2)       
First Line: Send all dispatches
Last Line: Won't be able to stope when you hit %a dangerous curve %theywill have you assassinated by pianos


MESSENGER'S LAIR       
First Line: A black blonde serves refreshment to kink - haired men
Last Line: Dream - whipped sleeper scuffling to shake the unholy ghost


MEXICO ENTERED THE DOOR WITH HIM ON THE WIND       
First Line: Came up the stairs and talked to me for a few minutes
Last Line: I've been to mexico before


MIDAS TOUCH       
First Line: (mable mable set the fable don't forget the %red hot peppers)


MIDNIGHT CARRIES ME SOUTH ALONG ILLUSION AVENUE       
First Line: Used to know a man who sold it hot. A woman who knew
Last Line: For the cause and thick lips pressed %to the window


MISS JONES    Poem Text    


MISS JONES       
First Line: She was the great baby sitter - tall dignified


MISS NATTY ANN       
First Line: Up central avenue thirty years gone
Last Line: A virgin niggah gal's slit, yes suh!'


MISTAH MOUSE       
First Line: A refined lady-of-color was terrified of vermin
Last Line: And stay dead,' she said


MISTER CLARK       
First Line: In red velvet drapes a gallery of wanted posters


MIZ SAMBO AND THE TIGERS       
First Line: Scenes unreel: the brass rail, parisian room, lobby inn


MOANIN' GROANIN' BLUES       
First Line: When I get up in the mornin'
Last Line: Still weak yet strong enough to fight


MOJAVE WINTER       
First Line: Precise attention drawn to bone
Last Line: Now she vanishes with a breath of acacia


MOON LAYING ON HER SIDE       
First Line: Value is as value does
Last Line: The third element of creation


MORNING       
First Line: He sleeps late he sleeps dead as he sleeps he


MORNING WIDOW'S SONG       
First Line: I moan lovejoy. I moan low. The urge too strong
Last Line: I makes my bed today and my blues tomorrow


MORNINGSIDE PARK       
First Line: It is father's day. I go to visit pop
Last Line: The weight of my love


MOTEL       
First Line: Salacious tongues of neon lick cheap plastic shades


MOTH       
First Line: Brushing up against his bearded cheek
Last Line: Flies into him/fries


MOTHER OF THE THIN LIE       
First Line: I have wed and bed your son


MOTHER TAYLOR       
First Line: An oatmeal mulatta


MOTHER THE FLESH       
First Line: Has no logic %knows no reason
Last Line: The flesh forgives everything


MOUNTAINS ENTRAILS CURLING DOWN AND OUT THE HOLE ...       
First Line: They never have anything bad to say about you. Nothing but


MR. LOPEZ       
First Line: In german class they used to laugh behind his back
Last Line: But at that time I was too dense %to get the joke


MR. WALTER       
First Line: She calls to tell me our old associate
Last Line: I guess, she said


MS. PAC MAN    Poem Text    
First Line: Video fever comes late. I am found
Last Line: But don't
Subject(s): Video Games


MS. PAC MAN       
First Line: Video fever comes late. I am found
Last Line: Will put me over %but don't
Subject(s): Video Games


MY DADDY BE A BABY       
First Line: He sits propped up in the giant crib
Last Line: Tell her he comin' at last


MY ENLARGED HEART       
First Line: An avaricious eater of oxygen
Last Line: My flow of blood is uncontrolled %wild palpitations


MY SHOW       
First Line: To watch requires being home religiously
Last Line: Some trash is good trash


NATURAL HABITAT OF THINGS THAT BITE       
First Line: Cold places %beneath sheets
Last Line: In her stomach as he walks away


NEGATIVE PORTIONS       
First Line: Sunlit edges of half dreams
Last Line: Where my heart used to be there's a hambone


NEGRO HISTORY 281       
First Line: She was flattered to be invited to perform on campus. There
Last Line: No idea what he had meant and dismissed it as something %cultural


NERUDA       
First Line: Few quiet hours
Last Line: Note found in cantonese fortune cookie: %neruda slept here


NEW LEAF       
First Line: Her lungs emptied out fear. They were black, classic unhealthy
Last Line: I stare at it. Go over to the plant. Grab the leaf. Break it off


NIGGER'S VOICE FEELS CURIOUSLY COOL       
First Line: Your favorite authors never knew the thou of you
Last Line: Hang yourself from the stacks


NO MALICE IN MOVIELAND       
First Line: In the business I can't get the business
Last Line: Socks go up and down


NO WOMAN'S LAND       
First Line: They trample on my sensitivity
Last Line: No white flag of truce %no surrender


NOBODY WANTS TO KNOW MY NAME    Poem Text    
First Line: No not skin graham cracker crust


NOBODY WNATS TO KNOW MY NAME       
First Line: No not skin but graham cracker crust
Last Line: I'm not here. I'm out of touch %ears?


NOCTURNE       
First Line: Running in place %my tongue has grown strong and hard
Last Line: Or the darkness before the dark


NODOMANIA (3)       
First Line: No getting in on the ground floor
Last Line: Wished I'd been born a boy


NOISE       
First Line: Slake in decibels. Take me up
Last Line: Gunshots entering %wounding


NOISE (2)       
First Line: Sanctimonious cacaphonifiers richochet on stucco
Last Line: He eats all my silences


NOSOMANIA       
First Line: Lawyer fever doctor flu
Last Line: All the philosophy I need


NOSOMANIA (2)       
First Line: The news reports about health professionals
Last Line: Wondering how one lived without touching


NOTES OF A CULTURAL TERRORIST       
First Line: Angry, angry for days years decades. Going to
Last Line: These are my fake pearls. I have no real ones


NOTES OF A CULTURAL TERRORIST (2)       
First Line: After the war the war begins the war goes on
Last Line: Don't look me too long in the eyes


NOVEMBER'S SONG: 1.       
First Line: I am planetary with sugar & double
Last Line: As I gather each trace of wronged breath


NOVEMBER'S SONG: 2.       
First Line: A nesting starling arcs across
Last Line: As black as my licorice heart


O.D.'S FOR LIP CLIP & STYLE       
First Line: The bottom line shapes the snake of a scalp
Last Line: The rest he covered with hair


OBITUARIES       
First Line: I always read them looking for cause
Last Line: That's happened to marriageable females %since the veil


ODE FOR DONNY HATHAWAY    Poem Text    
First Line: And then there are the one-hit zombies
Subject(s): Music & Musicians


ODE FOR DONNY HATHAWAY       
First Line: And then there are the one-hit zombies
Last Line: That too sweet gospel splash


OF AN ABSENCE       
First Line: His silence would've been manna. Just to be together enuff
Last Line: How things have gone


OF APES AND MEN       
First Line: As we posed around the appetizers, drinks snugged to our lips
Last Line: He rose and abruptly left the table leaving me with my mouth %open


OF NO FEATHER       
First Line: But you see, when we discuss birds
Last Line: Don't play with my pee-pee, mommy. I don't play with %yours


OFFERING OF PAWS       
First Line: I was choking her %she begged for mercy
Last Line: One with a fire. One who hunts for pleasure instead of game. %one to go home with


OFFICE    Poem Text    
First Line: There the time clock's feverish ticks
Last Line: Insane focus on small things / keeps sane
Subject(s): Office Employees; Clerks


OFFICE       
First Line: There the time clock's feverish ticks
Last Line: Intense focus on small things %keeps sane
Subject(s): Office Employees


OFFICE POLITICS       
First Line: The white boss / stops at my desk to see how I'm doing
Subject(s): Office Employees; Clerks


OFFICE POLITICS       
First Line: The white boss %stops at my desk to see how I'm doing
Last Line: And goes back to work
Subject(s): Office Employees


OLD BLACK LADY NEXT DOOR, WALKING       
First Line: She walks walking


OLD CHOKE       
First Line: We play hand games while daddyboy waits for
Last Line: I feel his grasp


OLD WHITE MAN       
First Line: Was leaving the doctor's office
Subject(s): Social Problems


ON HEAVEN STREET AT ONE A.M.       
First Line: His mouth liquid this glitter night beneath stars
Last Line: These eyes in the sky are lights from stars long burnt-out %long gone cold


ON THAT STUFF THAT NEVER BEEN LONG ENUFF FOR NO DAMN BODY       
First Line: Chain braids


ON THE ASPHALT       
First Line: Cars on avenue
Last Line: And wish he's never been born


ON THE OTHER END OF MELROSE       
First Line: Always it is dusk
Last Line: All questions go unanswered %always it is dusk


ON THE RIGHTEOUS BADMOUTH       
First Line: If I must be insulted do it like a mestizo
Last Line: If you must put it in my ear - lubricate


ON THE TRAIN       
First Line: He's the last train in the station
Last Line: And for dessert, souls


ONCE MORE       
First Line: Watching him smile at my morena face
Last Line: The cream, the blood, my brooding


ONE OF A MILLION       
First Line: Plainclothed cops chase a half - naked
Last Line: On the sand like sun- fried adobe bricks


ONE WHO CAN       
First Line: Morning. He sleeps a dead sleep
Last Line: Goes on the one who can %does


OUTFIT       
First Line: He hid it right beneath my ass


OUTSIDE MY SPHERE       
First Line: I imagine him the still unknown, my teen first love
Last Line: No green boy can survive in my world of stormy white swirls


PACE SETTER       
First Line: Baby is it in the stars? Did you descend to earth
Last Line: Come true? The jungle jivin' hoo juju or am I in for the %royal screw


PIGGING OUT       
First Line: At the restaurant we sit down to wine
Last Line: We eat until our smiles return %until fat and happy


POEM FOR PAUL - JULY 1975       
First Line: This night I write a psalm


POET AFTER SURGERY       
First Line: He keeps falling to pieces
Last Line: We lost his penis in west covina


POETRY LESSON NUMBER ONE       
First Line: Cleveland and them hung hung out in that watts cafe used to be


POETRY LESSON NUMBER THREE       
First Line: Solikeman have you read this cat's stuff
Last Line: Afterwards I go and look it up in the unabridged %while he's snoring


POETRY LESSON NUMBER TWO       
First Line: At the party I was asked to share my work as fledgling
Last Line: And I finally understood his way of saying %my work lacked %originality


POST-MODERN POUNDING       
First Line: I am tired of trafficking the long sizzling grid
Last Line: I beat my head. I beat me head


POW/MIA       
First Line: Head in her hands, eyes dry, the reluctant songsmith
Last Line: Prisoner of words missing in actuality


PRANCING IN MY SLEEP       
First Line: A woman a worker a black
Last Line: The only danger left is %turning off the light


PREDETERMINATION       
First Line: For scarcity of marijuana on the streets and in
Last Line: Even when tain't so


PREFACE TO A TWENTY VOLUME SPASM       
First Line: Dreadfall. Nightly I've come to anticipate the way
Last Line: Finished, the sonofabear winked


PRISONER OF LOS ANGELES (3)       
First Line: Bars of black flesh on celluloid
Last Line: For failure to believe


PROPAGANDA       
First Line: In this hell %my skin


PROSODIA CENTO: MORPHIA SPEAKS       
First Line: Silence emerges as boundaries %and having
Last Line: Color is a language %otherwise, I could have been anyone I wanted


PROVE IT WHY DON'T YOU       
First Line: Fox in the hen house shoo fox shoo
Last Line: Good hard thangs grow in tight wet places


PROVISOS       
First Line: Hit it three licks and
Last Line: Than mounting for the ride


PRUNE SPOON JUNE       
First Line: This peculiar summer we stroll the boardwalk
Last Line: Too busy fighting to stay out of mine


PSEUDO DICKINSONIAN CENTO BLUES       
First Line: To some extent
Last Line: Bad money bad love scuttle bugs & cracked ceilings


Q & A       
First Line: What do you say to the dead
Last Line: Soon, is what you say when you can't say. Soon


QUEEN OF SINKING SAND       
First Line: Stone of my crown carries me down


QUESTION OF BLOOD       
First Line: Arises on the ward


QUOTH THE RAVEN       
First Line: The room, coolly luminous, a frayed pop-culture rag open
Last Line: That door, baby, I still hear it slammin'


RAGE REVIVIFIED       
First Line: Bones bearing the weight of bones
Last Line: Bash the merciless with algae - covered stones


RAPPING WITH OPPORTUNITY       
First Line: I sit at the desk
Last Line: I'll kill him and hide his body %under my desk


RAYMOND AND ROMANCE       
First Line: The bed of cries is neatly made. Sun - drenched sheets taut
Last Line: And all the banks have been robbed


REFUGEE FROM VACAVILLE       
First Line: Isolation %therapy/strapped down on the cement slab
Last Line: He picks women willing to warden


REGIONS OF DESERTS       
First Line: I walk thru the eye of sun
Last Line: Settled in the sand of its past %my skull grins


REGURGITATIONS       
First Line: He is rotting on the roadside
Last Line: Will become his children


REQUIEM FOR A NEST    Poem Text    
First Line: The winged thang built her dream palace
Subject(s): Birds' Nests


RERUN       
First Line: So tired of living close to the bone


RERUN (2)       
First Line: Neither top nor bottom


RETURN TO DJERASSI       
First Line: Up skyline off bear gulch & solitude
Last Line: Is the time I create


RETURNED TO THE POPULATION       
First Line: The narcomic rhythm of the crosstown bus


REVERSAL FOR THE NINE OF SPADES       
First Line: It is the danger of the boy becoming a man


REVISITING FEAR AND MEMPHIS       
First Line: We gather in that place that speaks the having been
Last Line: Whosoever put their blood in this soil, raise thy standard


REVISITING THE WOOD       
First Line: Palms and telephone poles nod
Last Line: And breaks the seal


ROACHES       
First Line: We kids used to pop 'em with matches on the back porch


RON NARRATIVE RECONSTRUCTIONS       
First Line: A half hour before the advance of sun
Last Line: I do as god wills over and again %I be as sparrow


RON NARRATIVE RECONSTRUCTIONS: 1.       
First Line: A half hour before the advance of sun
Last Line: Three of them are cracked


RON NARRATIVE RECONSTRUCTIONS: 2.       
First Line: Of little use to vampires or leeches
Last Line: Of what feather are you?


RON NARRATIVE RECONSTRUCTIONS: 3.       
First Line: In this dream I've just moved into a large collective household
Last Line: Is what healed alone healed well?


RON NARRATIVE RECONSTRUCTIONS: 4.       
First Line: We plan to join the gym on an annual basis. My favorite
Last Line: Subculture freakazoids


RON NARRATIVE RECONSTRUCTIONS: 5.       
First Line: Inadvertently, a data error entered in the statement path
Last Line: The mystery of the soul is the knowing there is one


RON NARRATIVE RECONSTRUCTIONS: 6.       
First Line: Lately, whenever I run by the post office I see the same two
Last Line: I be as the sparrow


RULES       
First Line: Walk on the inside away from the curb


SACRED HISTORY OF THE GONE       
First Line: Fade to rose
Last Line: And all will fade to rose


SALVATION WAX       
First Line: Ram's blood
Last Line: Divest me of the shackles of my hands


SAN ANSELMO 1966       
First Line: I have no name for the beauty I saw there


SAN DIEGO       
First Line: The light is like this
Last Line: I pick sand stones %to carry home


SAPPHIRE AS ARTIST IN THE WORLD       
First Line: The work such woman does in the world works
Last Line: The profound stubborn belief in the absolute importance of her %vision


SCIENCE OF IMMORTALITY       
First Line: Combative movement is watched measured charted & graphed


SCRATCH ME       
First Line: Summer %beached again. I hate being beached. The affirmation of my


SCYLLA & CHARYBDIS       
First Line: This sargasso muddied with the blood
Last Line: His names for my breasts


SECOND CLASS ANGEL       
First Line: There's a part of heaven
Last Line: Is merely the non-reflective neon of god's %corporate boardroom


SECRET TONGUE OF THE GONE       
First Line: Squiggles divine the passage
Last Line: One foot tap dancing


SELF-IMMOLATION       
First Line: It takes a peculiar kind of anger
Last Line: Then come smoke %then come flame


SENORA MOSQUITO       
First Line: She winds her way into our darkness
Last Line: And now so do I


SESSIONS       
First Line: Doctor asked me if I had any sexual fantasies. I told him I
Last Line: Really need a doctor after all, now that I've finally found a %decent job


SEX AND POLITICS IN FAIRYLAND       
First Line: Rose red from across the tracks does
Last Line: She is assured resurrection by the local %sorcerer who offers happy endings %at a discount


SHARON       
First Line: Baby sis ran away from home in the 70's. We don't talk


SHE'S THERE AMONG THE NOTES AWAITING TRANSLATION       
First Line: A language easily misunderstood


SHIT WORKER IN GENERAL       
First Line: I do good things for the good dead
Last Line: I keep the minutes of their meetings %and collect the dues


SIDEWALK       
First Line: Whenever I arrive you're there waiting
Last Line: Pot-holed by the rush of rain water from gutters overflowed


SIDEWALK SHEIKS, HOLLYWOOD 1981       
First Line: Backgammon afternoons
Last Line: Or please miss can you move your car?


SIGNATURES (1)       
First Line: She quick-fried and stewed the rabbit


SIGNATURES (2)       
First Line: On the molding board


SIGNATURES (3)       
First Line: I decline a visit to the fourth mesa


SILVER SATIN NIGGAH RIDES       
First Line: Together they cruised thru beverly hills
Last Line: But he sold us out cheap


SKIN       
First Line: I have itched everywhere possible


SKULL RECKONING       
First Line: I break bitter heart, lift out the earth/my pain
Last Line: My eyes fry like eggs


SMALL TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER       
First Line: Mama, what is clouds
Last Line: They real mad then. Theys %real mad


SNEAKER       
First Line: He comes home in his black leather biker jacket, the
Last Line: Is careful not to be seen


SOCIOPOLITICAL ABUSE       
First Line: We are not into living, this tomb a home
Last Line: Then sacrificed


SOCIOPOLITICAL ABUSE (2)       
First Line: In the bathroom the blood comes
Last Line: Instead of another in a long series of uh - ohs


SOME OF US       
First Line: Are found hanging
Last Line: None of us die laughing


SOME SUSPECT ADVICE       
First Line: To understate. He tells me less is better


SOMEONE'S BROUGHT IN FRESH CUTTINGS       


SOMETHING IN MY THROAT       
First Line: Eventually it will cause trouble
Last Line: And on the other %keep it shut


SON OF A       
First Line: He came in looking for a mama
Last Line: I makes bitches...Bitches...Bitches


SONG OF ONE       
First Line: Life was a spiral staircase on which
Last Line: Long enough to compose a coda for our oratorio


SONNET: 35       
First Line: Boooooooo. Spooky ripplings of icy waves. This
Last Line: Usta be young usta be gifted - still black


SONNET: 36       
First Line: Thin boy no grin boy to eat is a sin boy
Last Line: Razor sharp spadings into solid inky soil


SONNET: 37       
First Line: Childlove. We're estranged o'er wicked hours
Last Line: But do grave sleeping, you - the daunting


SONNET: 38       
First Line: Something in here distaff flies
Last Line: Doth he who caged the beast cage me?


SONNET: 39       
First Line: No zzzs louise, dere's a virusconspirus
Last Line: Too soon to quit too late to cry


SONNET: 40       
First Line: Communications/breakhead. I was 'sposed to but
Last Line: Are we large and in charge yet?


SONNET: 41       
First Line: Every death a haunting/deep sleep of word
Last Line: And pens her book of stone


SONNET: 42       
First Line: Uncanny. A gash in the superstructure somewhere
Last Line: Giggles uncontrollably


SONNET: 43       
First Line: I am listening for your footfalls, life!
Last Line: Soaks the earth


SONNET: 44       
First Line: Brewing bathwater for wine she rises from the flaming
Last Line: Yet scholarly file. Desperate for a drop


SONNET: 45       
First Line: I do deep paper poopoo. Rebellious bowels and
Last Line: How long and how much you swallow


SONNET: 46       
First Line: Blood - splashed leaves cling to a porous moon - soaked walk
Last Line: Once industry fails and a mean prosperity hurries south


SONNET: 47       
First Line: My adolescent fatherland is plagued by fear's outbreak
Last Line: To her lips, consumes ash for nourishment


SONNET: 48       
First Line: Marginal survivors of abuse by the savages in control
Last Line: Righteous rage of our split millennialism


SONNET: 49       
First Line: My cash - starved seducer with blueviolet skin
Last Line: Hoping the other knows the sideway up


SONNET: 50       
First Line: The script calls for mock close up
Last Line: Hollywood was the revoluti0n


SONNET: 51       
First Line: In my last incarnation I inoculated myself
Last Line: To discover my children did not know me


SONNET: 52       
First Line: Dearest cousin
Last Line: By these betrayals these giddy fingers


SONNET: 53       
First Line: Dearest cousin
Last Line: Scribe quilling this loonytoon history


SONNET: 54       
First Line: Dearest cousin
Last Line: One - palm island dwells no such beast as joy


SONNET: 56       
First Line: Coffee bar meditation: almost human
Last Line: Niggah - flavored boos for heavy waftings ahead


SONNET: 57       
First Line: Mid - nightmare, this warning from the slams arrives
Last Line: Tempest of providence inviting you into my soulwind


SONNET: 58       
First Line: Sadness dulls the bliss of my motherings
Last Line: Dropped to earth, are absorbed without trace


SONNET: 59       
First Line: There proliferates a multitude of warring legends
Last Line: Burning candles and throwing bones


SONNET: 60       
First Line: White tequila white moon white lies
Last Line: At the big wind river and boil it all down to glory


SONNET: 61       
First Line: Reaching down into my griot bag
Last Line: These are my slave songs


SONNET: 62       
First Line: Going into a jellyroll, bones threaten
Last Line: Worry about me


SONNET: 63       
First Line: Cornfields, porker farms, hills rolling down
Last Line: Chomping on corncobs is one of the arts


SONNET: 64       
First Line: This here majik douse of ice water to awaken a snoring
Last Line: But we won't speak ill of


SONNET: 65       
First Line: From blonde shores and languid childhood lulls
Last Line: Spume and coastal wind and shadow zone


SONNET: 66       
First Line: I am dying in lala in a blizzard of sun where
Last Line: A dream dreamt then forsaken


SONNET: 67       
First Line: In this my mean white universe I'm sandwiched between
Last Line: Be entangled and stung into stupidity?


SONNET: 68       
First Line: My executioner paints kisses on my mirror. That
Last Line: Who, now, will sing my praisesong?


SONNET: 69       
First Line: Here. Allow me to reveal the incontrovertible logic of
Last Line: And mineral water. But peace has come to the family


SONNET: 70       
First Line: In his grace he was silent. In his silence he called
Last Line: God. In my smoke I call you


SONNET: 71       
First Line: First you must prove that you can sing while running
Last Line: You gottalotta balls there. Cuntteeth. But no cock


SONNET: 72       
First Line: Every argument for purity should be turned over to expose
Last Line: Below, sweet reef - a delicious drowning


SONNET: 73       
First Line: Blueprinted here in the sizzling breath of righteous
Last Line: Dat dey may not only be flimflammed, but stanky


SONNET: 74       
First Line: The sensual bearded red wizard transforms
Last Line: Have stolen the wind's hum and drunk all the blue


SONNET: 75       
First Line: My recalcitrant darling, what do I mean about
Last Line: For without you, how am I to be who I've become?


SONNET: 76       
First Line: There be the fog outside and the fog inside
Last Line: To embrace the fog to give it form and flesh


SONNET: 77       
First Line: Grandpapa's dying years before his death sapped
Last Line: To the far - off jeer of the world whorling wild


SONNET: 78       
First Line: Lewd rumors/anti - democratic implications
Last Line: Impregnate the imagination


SONNET: 79       
First Line: Blue blooms on ridges, pales lips and nails
Last Line: After. I take cuttings of his hair and kiss the air


SONNET: 80       
First Line: The tor of thorns is a marriage
Last Line: Erect gold idols to themselves and lick the dingles blue


SONNET: 81       
First Line: There it is. The endless impenetrable surface
Last Line: Joan, you needn't be a saint to hear voices


SONNET: 82       
First Line: Calling all bluefools calling all bluefools
Last Line: Here. It's like that


SONNET: 83       
First Line: Here comes dat nasty music again
Last Line: On the other shore, bow - legged & sneakered


SONNET: 84       
First Line: A snizz o dis & a squinch o dat
Last Line: Finders weepers losers keepers


SONNET: 85       
First Line: Jailer? Will you still love me when I'm flit?
Last Line: I can hear a politician piss on cotton


SONNET: 86       
First Line: All our prophets - dead. All our gold proves lead
Last Line: All that progress missed. All the beautiful shit


SONNETS: 26       
First Line: Kicks & jams & slams
Last Line: Ache for the magic rush of your angelgush


SONNETS: 27       
First Line: Who I wasn't was that kink - wig stereotype tossed bills
Last Line: The art of keeping toilet paper from sticking to fingers


SONNETS: 28       
First Line: How much juice rutabagas givin' up these days?
Last Line: A black spasm on a brokedown bed


SONNETS: 29       
First Line: It does not fly. Ideological plumage/ a white
Last Line: You look like money kiss


SONNETS: 30       
First Line: Getting into me this year/I'm wasted/am ever to
Last Line: Flames I curse rescue, cry letttt me burn


SONNETS: 31       
First Line: Now bongos play remorse (verse of course)
Last Line: Split this earth. Ancient drums new beats


SONNETS: 32       
First Line: There are few ways I know of by which I can
Last Line: And I in my wits again


SONNETS: 33       
First Line: Hams & jams damn gams of ma'ams
Last Line: Sweeter dish flambeed intensely if not well


SONNETS: 34       
First Line: Call me a rebel angel
Last Line: I can't force them into my tiffany slippers


SORCERESS OF MUNTU       
First Line: Raven lips & red tongue rhythming forth deluge
Last Line: Every dreamer a fool & every fool flyin


SOUL EYES       
First Line: Like twin hearts beating in amber
Last Line: Like sent like received


SOUTHWESTERN SOUL    Poem Text    
First Line: Trucker stops. Vanishing points. Mirages
Last Line: Behind each salvation is stranded
Subject(s): Travel; Journeys; Trips


SOUTHWESTERN SOUL       
First Line: Trucker stops. Vanishing points. Mirages
Last Line: Here a multitude of baked shit-colored bungalow doors %behind each salvation is stranded


SOUTHWESTERN SOULD       
First Line: Trucker stops. Vanishing points. Mirages
Last Line: Here a multitude of baked shit-colored bungalow doors %behind each salvation is stranded
Subject(s): Travel


SPACE TRAVEL       
First Line: Over drinks at the airport (this, of course, is %another planet)
Last Line: On uranus. He said. There was. Once life


SPLITZ       
First Line: Out eyes caught the gun going across the counter and we
Last Line: Was as black and as pretty as you and god I %need my five hundred back


STAMPEDE       
First Line: My mind belly an elephant


STANDOFF IN EAST HOLLYWOOD       
First Line: Mother madness I am hiding in the broom closet


STARBOUND       
First Line: She walks up astrological stairs
Last Line: Feel my heart,' I answer, 'I think it's stopped'


STARVED FOR AFFECTION BLUES       
First Line: Let me in your kitchen, lover
Last Line: And it tastes so good to eat


STAYING AND NOT STAYING       
First Line: Usually, when the man can no longer support his family, he leaves it'
Last Line: Husband -- something society deems necessary %wife -- a high pitched bark


STEEL       
First Line: Scraping sky. Lean stainless sheets.


STEPHEN 1980       
First Line: I surprised him breaking into the crib


STEPHEN GONE       
First Line: Lone hitchhiker


STONE CAT       
First Line: It needs no wicker
Last Line: The sun on its back. The sun


STONE ROCK LADY       
First Line: I take stone injections


STRAPPING       
First Line: Daddyboy squeezed the joy into us when he tossed
Last Line: Hands to his neck and jaw, hanging on for dear love


STRAYHORN       
First Line: My ears extract his actuality from an essence
Last Line: To live, embraced and revived


SUDDEN VACANCY       
First Line: I sit and stare at the room
Last Line: Mildew denial and lies


SUNSET LIANA       
First Line: Midnight jazz & indigo
Last Line: Touch it with your tongue


SUSANNAH YOUR SMALLNESS & CEDAR HAIR       
First Line: So still in that hospital bed the tubes ran from your nose


SWEET MAMA WANDA TELLS FORTUNES FOR A PRICE    Poem Text    
First Line: Dark stairs/me walking up them


SWEET MAMA WANDA TELLS FORTUNES FOR A PRICE (1)       
First Line: Dark stairs %me walking up them
Last Line: I know what tomorrow %is all about


SWEET MAMA WANDA TELLS FORTUNES FOR A PRICE (2)       
First Line: Outside the door %echo footfalls
Last Line: The cool veil of night %hungry no more


SWEET MAMA WANDA TELLS FORTUNES FOR A PRICE (3)       
First Line: My man's arms %hold me/we fill the city
Last Line: To the stone bone %this tomorrow


SWEETENING       
First Line: Blighted bones sharpen, pierce gratified flesh
Last Line: Smelling of sunshine %hear the singing


SYSTEM       
First Line: Something there is that insists
Last Line: It spins. Outside again


TAKIN' A HEAD COUNT       
First Line: We gather %tome-on-tongue the bad verse of
Last Line: So bleak even light is absorbed


TALK ABOUT DADDY       
First Line: If I hadda known what kinda man
Last Line: Don't mention that sonofabitch while I'm eatin'


TALK ABOUT THE MONEY       
First Line: I need to talk hard cash. How to make it work
Last Line: To live life in the black


TAO OF UNEMPLOYMENT       
First Line: Things wait until funds are insufficient
Last Line: Of self-respect. Never forget %who is being fooled


TENDER OF SPLENDOR       
First Line: We belly laugh and drink in
Last Line: Afterwards, the odors of singed hair and burnt air


TEQUILA SUNRISE       
First Line: The kid in the yellow organdy dress, that's me
Last Line: She can kill them with looks


THE AMERICAN DREAM        Recitation by Author
Subject(s): United States; Money; America


THE CALIFORNIA CRACK    Poem Text    
First Line: She didn't know he was so shook
Subject(s): Drugs & Drug Abuse; Narcotics; Opium; Cocaine; Crack; Heroin


THE DEUCE OF CLUBS    Poem Text    
First Line: The black would-be poet told me a story


THE ISM    Poem Text    
First Line: Tired I count the ways in which it determines my life


THE OLD WHITE MAN       
First Line: Was leaving the doctor's office
Subject(s): Social Problems


THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON BLUES    Poem Text    
First Line: Can kill you
Subject(s): Grief; Sorrow; Sadness


THEY CAME KNOCKING ON MY DOOR AT 7 A.M.    Poem Text    
First Line: They had a warrant out for my arrest


THEY CAME KNOCKING ON MY DOOR AT 7 A.M.       
First Line: They had a warrant out for my arrest
Last Line: But things had changed


THEY'LL STARVE YOU       
First Line: So you think you're better


THIEF OF SPADES       
First Line: I wake him angry at 6 a.M. I scream, why'd you
Last Line: Before he's gone for good


THINGS HE TAUGHT ME       
First Line: How butterflies kiss
Last Line: Let the smoke fill your heart


THINGS NO ONE KNOWS       
First Line: Overcome by the stink of mildewed wash, I have
Last Line: Like buddhaflies


THIRD PARTY       
First Line: I keep going back to the butcher knife


THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT A BLUESBIRD       
First Line: After twenty centuries of witnessings
Last Line: Drowned in the sediment


THIS IS NOT MY LIFE ANYMORE       
Last Line: It belongs to the manchild who wears my frown


THIS TOO AN ILLUSION       
First Line: Here on earth such choice hells
Last Line: Lately I am given to speaking in tongues and %long inland lapses


THREE TREES       
First Line: Lemon: %we could never
Last Line: Ratty little bastards and some of your %fruit also


THRU THE GAP       
First Line: The sensation of falling
Last Line: A futile reunion to presumed wholeness


TIME COMES WHEN YOU KNOW       
First Line: Suddenly tomorrow is not in your vocabulary. Yesterday
Last Line: Go unheeded? Until finally something %broke inside


TO THE ORIGINAL POET       
First Line: Last night I saw another you
Last Line: He loves beer too much to commit suicide


TO THE OTHER WANDA COLEMAN       
First Line: The phone rings again. Something cliks. It's dangerous
Last Line: We know who's who. When will you? She's had hers %disconnected


TODAY       
First Line: Today is me and friend girl macking
Last Line: Wind against the rocks %sea sucking the shore


TODAY I AM A HOMICIDE IN THE NORTH OF THE CITY    Poem Text    
First Line: On this bus to oblivion I bleed in the seat
Last Line: I know my killer is out there
Subject(s): Americans; United States; America


TODAY I AM A HOMICIDE IN THE NORTH OF THE CITY       
First Line: On this bus to oblivion I bleed in the seat
Last Line: I know my killer is out there
Subject(s): Americans; United States


TOMBOY       
First Line: They caution on trees
Last Line: Young butch and spit on the world


TOTI'S BOWL: 1.       
First Line: Twas el senor made me do it - recalling my offering
Last Line: At fu ling's


TOTI'S BOWL: 2.       
First Line: On the way home, we take jefferson
Last Line: I haven't visited pop's grave in quite a while


TOTI'S BOWL: 3.       
First Line: In toti's bowl I keep things treasured
Last Line: Eyes bunched up like grapes


TOUGH LANGUAGE       
First Line: He complains I don't play it hardball enuff. He
Last Line: To shoot the sheriff and liberate him from himself


TREADMILL (1)       
First Line: The faster I run the faster I run


TREADMILL (2)       
First Line: Squeek squeek. I come out of my corner and look around


TROUBLE ON MY DOORSTEP BLUES       
First Line: Trouble and his partners hustle on the avenue


TRYING ON HIS CLOTHES       
First Line: The smells of burma shave and old spice
Last Line: Lower our squeaks and reach for his majesty


TRYING TO GET IN       
First Line: Artaud for breakfast


TWO TIMES BABY       
First Line: He's two nights gone for the second
Last Line: When we put one - and - one together


UCLA GRAFFITI BIO MED LIBRARY       
First Line: Beautiful girl's feet smell good
Last Line: Butt tastes good %fuck usc


UMBRELLAS OF TEJON-LEBEC       
First Line: Many look few see
Last Line: On this road less taken the sign reads %closed ahead


UNFINISHED GHOST STORY       
First Line: He woke in two shakes in a sweat and sat up in bed. She was
Last Line: When she threw away all his white cotton shirts he knew it was %time to bury the past


UNFINISHED GHOST STORY (2)    Poem Text    
First Line: This used to be her office
Last Line: Routine, these days
Subject(s): Office Employees; Clerks


UNFINISHED GHOST STORY (2)       
First Line: This used to be her office
Last Line: Isn't that dangerous business? %routine, these days
Subject(s): Office Employees


UNFINISHED GHOST STORY (4)       
First Line: He's new she's new they're news together
Last Line: Get home I'm gonna have to purge my crystal ball


UNFINISHED GHOST STORY (5)       
First Line: It is the eve of the eclipse. Jupiter is setting altho venus
Last Line: Something fiercely bangs against the gated front door %to get in


UNFINISHED GHOST STORY (6)       
First Line: Sydney was alone in their bedrooms crying over her difficulties
Last Line: Leafy ice-cold head of crisp romaine lettuce


UNFINISHED GHOST STORY (7)       
First Line: The city of raffia is wrapped in gridlock at 6 p.M.
Last Line: Till then, she's shoveling shit to keep it pure


UNFINISHED GHOST STORY (8)       
First Line: Lights out & instantly we jump twenty years of time
Last Line: I didn't kill you myself


UNFINISHED SCRIPT       
First Line: A woman's scream is heard followed by a series of moans
Last Line: As the officers vacillate between annoyance, disgust, amusement %and laughter


UNTITLED       
First Line: She was the perfect woman
Last Line: What I am. They never believe me


UNTITLED       
First Line: The hit man has oily fingers
Last Line: If it's all the same to you, I'll keep stepping


VARIATION ON A FAIRYTALE       
First Line: She wanted to believe it was nothing
Last Line: Were gathering were growling


VARIATIONS ON A BLUES MOTIF       
First Line: He brought nothing


VERMONT MEETS MELROSE       
First Line: On the corner they go to the stud
Last Line: And is soft and casts a shadow %like the moon


VET       
First Line: High noon eyes %the haunt. A deserted street
Last Line: Rides off toward %home %war begins


VIOLENCES       
First Line: Curel rumors of a wealth never achieved
Last Line: Later they find her dangling. At her neck %the rope of eyes


VOICES    Poem Text    
First Line: I hear voices. I hear them often. I've heard them
Last Line: Threatening to follow me into life
Subject(s): Voices


VOICES       
First Line: I hear voices. I hear them often. I've heard them
Last Line: I hear them. The voices. The noise of lies & analyses %threatening to follow me into life
Subject(s): Voices


WAIT       
First Line: Pregnant and bruised inside
Last Line: Kill the twitch in my %left eye


WAITING FOR PAUL       
First Line: In the bar %they play songs about outer space
Last Line: Come in captain zero


WALKIN' PAPERS BLUES (URBAN BLUES/JASS SERIES)       
First Line: Give me mah walkin' papers
Last Line: A year of unemployment %and 2 weeks severance pay


WANDA IN WORRYLAND       
First Line: I get scared sometimes
Last Line: And have to go look into the mirror to see if I'm %still here


WANDA WHY AREN'T YOU DEAD       
First Line: Wanda when are you gonna wear your hair down
Last Line: Wanda wanda wanda I wonder %why aren't you dead


WANT ADS       
First Line: 40 %of women who separated recently while
Last Line: Moon goddess/the less that is more


WATCHING    Poem Text    
First Line: The television on


WATCHING       
First Line: The television on
Last Line: One eye is watching television


WAY THEY FEEL       
First Line: Soft words. He's blowing in my ear, pressing me back
Last Line: Taking with her his collection of jazz and pain to %barter for a fix


WE COULD'VE MADE IT IF       
First Line: I were flat %and you were round
Last Line: I were brighter-skinned


WE MEET THE BLACK RIMBAUD       
First Line: As we exit the elevator we step into the
Last Line: Bob kaufman? Who is bob kaufman?'


WELFARE QUEAN       
First Line: Red - faced you follow the loony white line to
Last Line: Bloodwart on the schnoz of christ


WET THURSDAY       
First Line: Don't make that kind of book no more
Last Line: Noise when you close the door


WHALES       
First Line: As gods -- so-called
Last Line: Is measured by its acceptance of %its time having passed


WHAT HAPPENED IN PEORIA       
First Line: Her quasar lips and video eyes took hold of
Last Line: After a hasty search of his mind he found nothing


WHAT HE GAVE ME       
First Line: At first I didn't care


WHAT I KNOW OF MY MAN       
First Line: How his head turns when desire enters his mind
Subject(s): Fetishes; Obsessions


WHAT I KNOW OF MY MAN       
First Line: How his head turns when desire enters his mind
Last Line: Friction exacerbates his final exquisite suffusion %baby baby
Subject(s): Fetishes; Obsessions


WHAT IS IT ABOUT US       


WHAT IT MEANS TO BE DARK       
First Line: When you are beaten
Last Line: Is offered out of expediency


WHAT MUST BE REMEMBERED       
First Line: Something I have forgotten
Last Line: The confession of bodies %to the urge


WHAT THE BEAST EATS       
First Line: Those yellow portals %glisten in twinight -- 'surrender'
Last Line: And all the dramas in between


WHAT THE MOON SAW       
First Line: Not a wolf but a slew of jackals. The ax dropped by the
Last Line: Army of teeth at work on the flesh of a luscious fresh kill


WHAT THE WALLS SAY       
First Line: He spends too much time
Last Line: He will tempt you to murder. Resist. To kill him %is to never be rid of him


WHAT TO DO ABOUT BILLIE HOLIDAY: THE ANSWER       
Last Line: And let lady flow


WHEN I SENSE THE SHADOW       
Last Line: At midnight I go to the closet


WHERE I LIVE    Poem Text    
First Line: At the lip of a big black vagina
Last Line: Named black los angeles
Subject(s): Los Angeles; Night Clubs; Violence


WHERE I LIVE       
First Line: At the lip of a big black vagina
Last Line: She's the baddest piece of ass on the west coast %named black los angeles
Subject(s): Los Angeles; Night Clubs; Violence


WHEYLAN 1963       
First Line: His keen teen dream puppy love turned to pain


WHY I DON'T WRITE LOVE POEMS FOR YOU    Poem Text    
First Line: Evahbody wanna do da horizontal bop'
Last Line: Of me by you
Subject(s): Fetishes; Obsessions


WHY I DON'T WRITE LOVE POEMS FOR YOU       
First Line: Evahbody wanna do da horizontal bop'
Last Line: To ward off this possession %of me by you
Subject(s): Fetishes; Obsessions


WOMAN ALONE BUT NOT LONELY       
First Line: Then when it is all that they say it is
Last Line: Dancing and devoured in his smoulder


WOMAN AND HER THANG       
First Line: She kept it in a black green felt-lined box
Last Line: She's into that process now


WOMAN EATER       
First Line: Urgency/to know taste touch smell others
Last Line: I am crawling out of her mouth onto the nylon pillow


WOMAN ON SAND       
First Line: My eye the coastline disappears on


WOMAN WHO WENT UP IN SMOKE       
First Line: Sometimes a glimpse is caught
Last Line: And went to vapors


WOMEN IN MY LIFE       
First Line: My sisters do not write, unrequited letters beg
Last Line: The women in my life cut deeper than the men


WOMEN OF MY COLOR       
First Line: I follow the curve of his penis
Last Line: Will I ever see %the sun


WORD GAME       
First Line: Once upon a time, I a poet, transformed myself into a poem
Last Line: Or a poem writing a poet


WORKER (2)       
First Line: I am the dog they whip all day
Last Line: And pray for the day dogs dream of


WRITER'S REQUIEM       
First Line: Bury me in soft paper


YOU HEAR ABOUT THEM       
First Line: Ones who turn face to wall and die. Poverty starts in
Last Line: The young ones haunt a room for years


YOU JUDGE A MAN BY THE SILENCE HE KEEPS       
First Line: He calls to tell me something. The something
Last Line: Finds its way to my face %stays until I wash