AfroPoets Famous Writers

mosaic harlem

what news from the bottle?
        rats shedding hair in ice
        nodding veins filled with snow
        blackeyed peas, grits, red rice
through the broken glass I hear a breaking age
what song do we gurgle?

what news from the bottom?
        Jesus learning judo
        I scratch giant lice and ghetto
        fleas in the gutter of my mind
the sucking boll weevil converts to blood
when will the mosquito fear the rage under sweat?

what view from the bottle?
        cats pawing at cotton ideas
        the roach in the milk
        crawls safely to the nipple
why is green not black, brown, tan, only pain?

what news from the bureau?
        a mole stoking coal in wine-steam and no gas
        building baby foundations from lamb-bone
        pray in Chinese, farting in English
I hear a black drum roaring up a green lion on a yeller silk
come to kill the keeper of our cage

what news from James' bastard bible?
        al-Mahdi kneels in the mosque,
        Melchizedek, Moses, Marcus, Muhammad, Malcom!
        marshalling words, mobilizing swords
the message is mixed and masticated with Martin
the good news of the gospel is crossing a crescent

what they do at the bottom?
        went to the cop and he took my pot
        the law giveth and the law taketh away
        I can neither pee nor blow
they will rope Mary and take pussy for my bail
I will remember, I will recall, bottoms up, I cop

what news from the black bastille?
        ram of god busting up shit
        unicorning the wolf, panthering the fox
        the old shepherd is himself lost
the ram will not stop, what news from the bottom?
the east!   the west!    and the top!

Written by Henry Dumas (1934-1968)


Henry Dumas Poets Page