NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2013 - Page 32

By K. CURTIS LYLE The City Where No One Was Allowed To Hunt “Stare at me and I will divine You into numbers that cannot be divided; I will drag you into taverns of Felt; shop you on the Berkshire greens Of the upper crust where only I Can defend myself against the terror Where spoiled acorns appear as sweet charity” Then along came Ralph Waldo Ellison; he Cared about the work, but he also Cared about the credit; the concept of The ‘done deal’ fell into his lap, But he didn’t just lay there and Laugh, he wrapped a red velvet ribbon Around his penis and jumped on stage “The suite that made me tremble true Blood is the same abusive child I Could not leave behind; my mind became A field of weeds and tangles that Broke my stroke; the price we pay For waiting on the muse is wanting To control water that was never there” The stamen river bankers stayed below the Belt through the age of hipness and Bohemia; they rode rust like honeyed Base balls without seams; after dark they Pushed into the park and reamed Ralph; White eyes boring into the black prize He handled emotion, walked a tight rope “There’s no ruined home to return to; I dream between the Hudson and the Harlem rivers; I love the ancient modal Harmony of the Kora; I hate the Cain mark and brain dead repute of Africa; now I wonder what the mileage Is between New York, Alabama and Oklahoma” He always felt out of place because The plastic rain coat he wore could Never cover his entire body; in the Battle royal he had to choose between The cantor and the blues; he never Really moved left or right of center, Cursing in the solace of high prayer “My tomb is a blow back; cool Step against memory, in support of Fire; what made a man like Lewis Carroll conjure up the wonder of his Own Sweet Alice; I only got to Go into the land of Nod when Charlie Christian knocked on my front door” Up the stair steps of class and Down the grade of race; he heard An aria that first night alone in The Roman hotel; he played an illegal Koto at a bare back wedding; in The nursery he kissed a no legged Veteran of the word wars named Kronos “One winter I almost died from hunger; I hunted with Amiri Baraka in the Way men do when close to death; We walked alone in our plural despair; The air was cold; the earth was Empty, but below, filled with meat and Hides; I have never felt so alive” 30 Inside the sullen library backlog he heard Rifle shots; his dogs tuned their ears Both in and out; in, because the Electric grid that housed their senses Was subject to jest; out, because they Were in a part of the city Where no one was allowed to hunt BRN-FALL-2013.indb 30 9/13/13 12:47 AM