Influences Pt. 2: A More Extensive List

(in no particular order)

Federico Garcia Lorca
Haki Madhubuti (Don L. Lee)
Gwendolyn Brooks
Sterling Brown
Countee Cullen
W. E. B. DuBois
Paul Laurence Dunbar
Robert Hayden
Claude McKay
Clarence Major
Etheridge Knight
Nikki Giovanni
Ishmael Reed
Ntozake Shange
Michael Harper
Quincy Troupe
Dudley Randall
Melvin B. Tolson
Jean Toomer
Margaret Walker
Alice Walker
Frantz Fanon
Yusef Komuyakaa
Cheikh Diop
Derek Walcott
Jack Kerouac
Allen Ginsberg
Nelson George
Rita Dove
Xam Cartier
Toni Morrison
Laurence Lieberman
Jay Wright
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
All Young
David Henderson
Zora Neale Hurston
Darryl Holmes
Angela Jackson
Ruth Forman
Eugene B. Redmond
Maya Angelou
Eldridge Cleaver
Huey P. Newton
Kevin Young
Tracy K. Smith
Terrance Hayes
Lucille Clifton
William Burroughs
Larry Neal
Walt Whitman
William Carlos Williams
T. S. Eliot
E. E. Cummings
Gil Scott-Heron
The Last Poets
Saul Williams
Sonia Sanchez
Bob Kaufman
Kamau Brathwaite
Michael Warr
Albert Camus
Tricia Rose
Linton Kwesi Johnson

June, 2020.

Adore the Ladder (especially the rungs in between)

            For Prince

Know if
We’ll ever
Witness anyone
Like you again. there was nothing

Not play
(Or make your own)
Raising the bar of
Icon beyond that of your symbol.

Be found
For all time

With you

With us –

How your story started is how ours
End…& I can still hear you singin:
No use in half a story, half a
One must climb all the steps in between
See you in the afterlife, my friend.”


Delirium Ante Meridium in the Planetarium (for Madam X)

the fish
on the tilted track
of zodiac dreams
stroke the panther’s back
along her cosmic seams.

they swim faintly
into her eyes
bringin’ night
to its rise.

the bouquet
of her blackness
rains perfume

from the sky
onto you & i
two African violets
picked for ecstasy.

in a sea
of afro bloom
we bathe brightly
beneath the moon.

silken night
nude as solitude
wash us ashore
into your pores.

bring us to where
we’ve been before.
replant us
in this planetarium
we still call Earth.


Piano Grand

        (or: ode to the tone poets who tickle the ivories)

Let’s face the music

I remember
    All the things you are

Like a tint of blue in green
    To the soulful soliloquy my heart strings

                Too marvelous for words.


Ars Poetica III: Writes of Passage

        “The dreamers are the saviors of the world.”
                            -James Allen

However you like, just do it
As though you were riding a unicycle
Never letting go of the invisible
Handle you have on the landscape of
Memories & language of your dreams
With eyes wide looking for that
Maiden voyage still inside
You as though tomorrow will never

Even if it’s just scrupulous scribbles

Obsessed with observant
Tendencies that vers libre tends
To lend to its pupils who
Have risked the poetry of
Dangling, as words devote
Measures of metaphor
To the rapture of never
Separating life from its

Your soul is saturated
In the tainted tinges of your
Painted angels
& demons, as though
Experienced in the great
Unexpectations of
Life, tuning in the electric
Music of the muses
Alive 24/7/365, & taking stance
In the artful orgy of your soul’s
‘Til your faculties crash, then dream
Yourself a beacon in the world,
Churning an undeniable alchemy of
Prosody until the poem’s an epitaph
Immortal as the scroll of your soul
Only to be awakened by those same
Bearers of dreams still to come….

Even when pandemonium’s
Your only peace of mind

Like poetry were your pottery wheel

Of perpetual ponderings, your
Solitary sustenance of survival
Molded by all of the strangely

Familiar moments trying to stay out
Of art’s way, as today melds meaning
& solders the sonder of serendipitous
Verses, free to be whatever you want

To be –

Like now
Is the truth

Like now
Is forever;