Rumpus Original Poems
Not in your echoing womb,
to scream at you across your fields to wake up,
not part of your denial that Earth is burning,
dehydrated, suffocating on itself—
I stood in a blue state
while you bled the red of its people—(Our people: recall how they grew up
across Holt Street, Maple Street from us, yes?)—
delusional that you were the world’s own,
I fucked your husband and I don’t feel
__bad enough for the bourgeoisie. My sexuality
roughly translating into teenage vampire,
__my blood a pop song programmed to some
which codes the luminous tree at your gate
which broad night renders its own wild leap
My Body is a Country & I Built A Wall Around It...more
who hands o-
ver their on-
Banjo Yes Plucks an Apple from a Tree in a Park
-For Tamir Rice
I hold an apple in my hand on set
It is or ain’t an apple ain’t a real
Apple depending on am I in the shot
Or am I watching with the crew a real...more
nectarine & leather (riot)
we said they’d never miss it our skin is twisted as harvest & smells like summer all day I hungered outside for something that is not here the rain came went...more
Letters from Satilla
Diann Blakely, 1957-2014
Have you read Andrew Hudgins’ After the Lost War
or even Sidney Lanier’s “The Marshes of Glynn”?
Sissieretta Jones, Carnegie Hall, 1902:
O patria mia.
Aida, buried in the darkness
of her fate. Aida, singing
in the tomb of her lover.
Her lover a notion pale as
the aria circling from her mouth.
The tea must be left on the counter,
or she won’t remember where it is
in the morning. There must be milk
The Problem with Me (Beginning with Abu Ghraib) Is the Problem with You (Ending Where the Earth’s Surface Appears to Meet the Sky)
A dog outside is barking loudly. Inside, everything is quiet.
I said I would not, but here I am looking.
Four Long Years At Court
I really miss the forest. And how
I used to hide there with the Queen.
I miss how we used to dance
and how we’d run from Court.
Ok, so you know someone who died horrifically
Ok, so you know an animal who died horrifically
In a fire let’s say or a building’s collapse
didn’t know what they were called those white poles jutting out of baptist rooves. they want you to know from a mile away that’s a church, go the real estate agent. in water valley the houses are a hundred years old & they are protective of...more
A kind of perfection,
each singular flicker
of fireflies left untrapped...more
A Deputy Chief Recommended Dismissal Long Ago...more
From water to water he worked
he traveled by IND. I know little else
about him. Sol worked at a pocketbook
are smarter than
they need to be,
she calls them
from the sky
to inspect her work.
They say, “Hood the eyes.”
Allen Iverson used to hang out at a nightclub in Virginia Beach when I was stationed in Norfolk & all the so-called gold diggers came out to see & be seen but I didn’t know that until we...more
Another Funeral in WV
–After Adrienne Rich
Aunt Kay’s tigers were never in a tapestry
and were really just some prescriptions and a tabby
that she called Baby. Baby bit and clawed at her ankles,
Teaching Day Aubade
This anxious spring, two
of my students become lovers,
and on Tuesday evenings
I walk home after class
Or Idolator: Another Epitaph for Nino
your side chick has car trouble.
she has a light bill with an open mouth.
she eats finger sandwiches or fettuccini alfredo,
and keeps an ice cube in her glass of white wine.
Today I wore jeans in the sweltering heat
& sweat pooled in my crotch.
There was a girl on the metro
with eyeliner like Priscilla Presley
How To Become An Effective Poet In 31 Days, Or Less...more
The Unreal Woman at the Grocery
“What price bananas? Are you my Angel?” –Alan Ginsberg
Her cart is mighty, for she piles it
with the semblance of health: fruit
that shines in the overhead fluorescents