NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 16.2: Fall 2016 - Page 55

poetry
By Kim Hunter baraka ’ s challenge or whale what whale
“ I am the whale !” Flipper , from the album , “ Blow ’ n Chunks ”
when it rains in the library when the ceiling opens the world and vice versa when clocks unwork time and vice versa
we you be able to speak ditch digger toilet cleaner , cab driver are you fluent in nail tech car wash associate , lunch room attendant assistant ’ s apprentice in training black bodies in the news
chalk line coordinates prophesied from anonymous data black as space where comet tails flash the sky before we can blink reflections in a night of revolving doors
the science of statistics stands with a gun and club between you and lottery heaven but odds run heavy when it comes to the nightstick choke-hold taser tag team ballistics of resisting misapprehensions of other gun still warm from your cousin ’ s parole
52 at your so-called trial your sentencing as you mouth the little spit and tear stained speech before your summary execution there on the wall bloody and silent will be the top ten reasons nobody read your shit
*** someone told me when asked to name the most significant white character in western literature amiri baraka said moby dick
i need you to close your eyes take to the sea in a wooden boat with a wooden weapon long as i am tall
the whale is gone only its color remains white white it first pierced the unlit ocean like a cloud of paint rose through the air with the water cycle the sea and sky became one left us blind as ahab our harpoon a broken compass needle funeral ready bodies piled up and down whole damn lineup fits the description america is home to the world ’ s most crowded wanted poster
crossing the police line to the job where his baby mama sister put in an application even though they weren ’ t taking applications but the manager wanted her phone number
name might as well be next of kin see the closed caption misspellings on the big screen sports bar for disconnected drunks all over the metro
if the perpetrator is white unlike the corpse the victim will get the best trial local advertisers can buy
they did a good job he looked so natural and didn ’ t preach too long cause didn ’ t know that much about him and so it could have been anybody fit the description sooner or later