Wednesday, January 19, 2005

And oh... this is what i've been writing over the last coupla days (2 poems follow). as usual, feel free to comment critically...

Muhammed Ali plots his return

Float like a butterfly; sting like a bee
Rumble young man; Rumble
Bundini Brown

They were always lookin’
for a white boy who could beat me

or a dumb black brute
or a nigga with a slicked-back shine
or a blindly patriotic
smiling gorilla

In the end even their jails
couldn’t stop me
even tough-as-nails Oscar Bonavena
mocking my name in
another colonist’s tongue
my covenant with Allah
felt some right to shame me

so I bloodied him in His name
tattoed him over fifteen
when I could have dropped him
in six

my left jab lightning
I combinated
like ping-pong balls in a bingo machine

They finally thought they had me
in Zaire against the scowling giant
even my friends weren’t sure
I’d last

after that they just waited
for the moment I was the kind
of weak they needed
to drag out in front of their cameras

Look ain’t so fast no more is he

a blind Samson
in the fools’ crumbling temple

Now I’m lighting the Olympic torch
kissing their babies
selling their sneakers

Fools – Allah never left me
His warrior Muhammed
His prophet

they’ve counted me out again
believed a knock-down
could slow me

paying no notice
to my gathering strength

no heed to the cracks in their temple walls

dumb luck
(for Karen)

what dumb luck forces us back
to the scenes of our crookedest smiles
is unclear – what perverse energy
untrue to our truer selves
at work against every fight/flight
we know whispers to us
to whisper against the shutters
of windows we entered
to love so hard we maimed
to want so hard we forced
the most exquisite fragile human
we knew to vanish away and away
from us

what is a giant’s dialect?
what blood of an Englishman
craved when he is blessed/
cursed with the strength
of a thousand men
and only the simplest will?
Does he wonder after
the creaking of bedsprings
or a more simple conversation;
noise close enough to his ear
to sound to him like love?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

frankly, you are a really gifted man; as long as you stick to your strengths. you have an uncanny ability to make the Caribbean come alive in your poems, and when you write of love it exudes quite an attractive, masculine shall we say ... energy.

now it is every poet's pregorative to grow and change so i wish you the very best in your development. while your earlier poems were quite moving (indeed, you need not have written anything else, really), i am still awaiting more beautiful, sensitive and rich works to emerge. until that time comes, when place and love and your feelings again become the subject of your work, i guess the Ali poem will be a place holder.

all in all, yuh nuh too bad, at all :o).

the best is yet to come.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Mahogany L. Browne said...

huh? ali is crazy! my grandfather and the men who sat around babershops and bars would crack laughs like whips if they could hear you.

if ali could hear you embody his words, life, faith and fire into the pages - it would be well worth the tree.

12:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home