Sunday, July 19, 2015

Jungle musings - from Women in The Village

Today I heard a gunshot in the alley under my window
I am not wise to the makes and sizes of guns

I am a poet
An artist
A mother

Not just me
Somebody else hadta heard it too
It is three in the afternoon
A sunny day

These are the things that riot my headspace
When I endeavor to write about

My poems are little now
Perhaps someone's life has ended
But not one has missed a beat

At the liquor store
Crazy Melvin is begging for change
Rolanda the crackhead is selling pussy
In unit B, Demarco is smoking weed

The couple downstairs is making love
And I am listening because it is beautiful

I imagine she lies face downward
And grips the headboard tightfisted
While he is stroking inside of her

The cushion of her backside is
Rent paid

The fucking is good

I am never short of stories on Buckingham Road
An elegant name for a street with such drama
Even more ironic that it intersects King
Yesterday someone pissed in the hallway
The ice cream truck comes by after dark

Last October the brothas set off fireworks
For two and a half hours
Starting at one in the am

I would like to blame this on the white man

It is eleven pm and I am up writing
Because that is what I do

I am in search of the who of who I am
On this Saturday night in The Jungle
Where someone is being asked to dance
Bishop Collins is preparing his message
And Good Times don't come on local networks no more

Maybe Michael was too black too strong for TV
Thelma too gorgeous to be nappy and brown skinned
I surmise they killed off James because
White America couldn't handle a black man
Sticking with his family through bad times

I am writing

The musings and prophecies just come
Like Wednesday before last
The children were out front playing
Two boys and a girl on one side
Three boys to the other
A volleyball type game
Except there was one child in the middle

In my day
I am old enough to have a day
We called it keep away
Now, Monkey in the middle
This I believe I can blame on the white man

But life in the hood ain't always bad
Like on Fridays Hank the dealer buys
Books and balloons and toys and food
For the children who don't have very much

The grandmamas and granddaddies are addressed as
Ma'am and sir
The peace and sage sistas are queens and miss ladies
Little Andre carries the groceries for Mama Jerome
When her boy ain't around

But the splendor of moments like these and more
Are shadowed by my neighbor Claire
Getting the fuck beat out of her
By her boyfriend
I don't know his name

I am sorry that I cannot make her have a better life

Still, my mind wanders
I imagine The Jungle recalled Little Africa
Where all the business are black owned
The young sistas in training eagerly receive council
From the she elders on
Hoochie coochie
Fryin' chicken and
Bein' grown

While the he soldiers are
Braided, dashikied

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