AfroPoets Famous Writers


for K. Curtis Lyle

within an avalanche of glory hallelujah skybreaks
spraying syllables on the run, spreading
sheets, waving holy sounds, solos sluicing african bound
transformed in america into hoodoo, inside tonguing blues
snaking horns, where juju grounds down sacred chords
up in the gritty foofoo
where fleet rounds of cadences whirlpool
as in rivers, where memory spins down foaming into dances
like storms swallowed here in a burst of suns
up in the yeasting blue voodoo, holding
the secret clues mum inside the mystery, unfolding
up in the caking dishrag of daybreak, miracles
shaking out earthquakes of light
like mojo hands luminous with spangling
& are the vamping blood songs of call & response

as in the pulpit when a preacher becomes his words
his rhythms those of a sacred bluesman dead outside his door
his gospel intersecting with antiphonal guitars, a congregation of amens
as in the slurred riffs the blues strings run back on themselves
answering the call, the voice cracked open like an egg
the lungs imitating collapsed drums
& he is the rainbowing confluence of sacred tongues
the devotion of rivers all up in his hands, all up in his fingers
his call both invocation & quaking sermon
running true and holy as drumming cadences
brewed in black church choirs, glory hallelujah vowels
spreading from their mouths like wolfman's mojo
all up in mahalia jackson's lungs
howling vowels rolled off hoodoo consonants, brewing
magic all up in the preacher's run, of muddy waters
strung all up in the form drenched with coltrane
riffin all up in miles of lightning hopkins mojo songs
blues yeasting lungs of bird
when music is raised up as prayer
healing as june's sun quilted into black babies
tongues sewn deep in their lungs as power
blueprinted there as breath of rappers

& this is a poem in praise of continuity
is a poem about blood coursing through tongues
is a praise song for drowned voices lost in middle passage
is a praise song for slashed drums
is a construct of orikis linking antiphonal bridges
is a praise song tonguing deep mojo secrets
in praise of the great God's blessings
in praise of healing songs sewn into tongues
inflating sweet lungs into a cacophony of singing

& this poem is about music, when music is what it believes
it is, holy, when voices harmonize, somersaulting
in flight, & glory is the miracle poetry sings to in that great getting-up
morning, within the vortex of wonder, confluencing rivers, light
glory in the rainbows arching like eyebrows across suns
glory in the moonlight staring from a one-eyed cat's head
& eye want to be glory & flow in that light
want to be coltrane's solos living in me
want to become wonder of birds in flight of my lines
want the glory of song healing in me as sunlight
want it tongued through leaves
metaphoring trees transformed where they seed & stand up here
in this soil, as people, everything rooted here in blood of mother's flesh
& is the poetry of God in deep forest time singing & listening
& the music there is green as it also is purple
as it also is orange brown & mind blowing electric banana
as it is red cinnamon & also again, green
sound up against lavender
& sunsets fusing crisp blue light
& night here stitched with fireflies, flicking
gold up against bold yellow & once again, green
sometimes cold here as the color of new money
when polled in eyeballs everywhere
locked into cloning one-armed bandit machines
& again green as shimmering caribbean palm fronds
are green in the center of apocalyptic chaos
& my poem here is reaching for that greenness
is reaching for holy luminosity shimmering in gold
flecked light, where the mojo hand is seaming through
high blue morning, waving like a sequined glove up in the glory
of hallelujahs, calling through the innertube lips of the great God
singing, up in the blues-root-doctors jacklegging sermons
up in the condolences mourning death
up in the sunburst of God's glory
eye want this poem to kneel down itself before healing
want it to be magic there beneath the crucifixion of light
eye want it to be praise song, juju rooted
eye want it to be mojo hand raised up to powers of flight
eye want it to be tongue of gritty foofoo, feeding
eye want it to be a congregation slurring amen riffs
running back through me to you
the voice raised up guitar blues licks, holy
want it to be glory hallelujah call & response, glory
want it to be yam song rooted in the bloody riveer, holy
want it to be ground earth of resurrection in you, in me
the bridge tongue of healing is the drum of this song
& it is reaching out to you to cross over
to the sun, is reaching out to touch your heartbeat
to become one in the glory
to feel the healing touch
to become one with the glory
this poem waits for you
waits for you to cross over
the heart touch of your healing
hands touching hands touching hands
this poem waits for you to cross over

Written by Quincy Troupe


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