Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mandingo Planet


—for Ralph Ellison

“It’s cotton-patch history”
—Malcolm X

ralph ellison is—
outside our history books
but into himself.

i’m invisible myself—
it’s a lot darker in here
than i ever thought.

But Nobody Was There
—for Ishmael Reed

i heard ralph ellison in the other room—
i entered the room, but nobody was there.

i heard the invisible man in the silverware—
i opened the drawer, but nobody was there.

i heard ellison’s 2nd novel creeping up the stairs—
i opened the door, but nobody was there.

i saw ellison’s spirit sitting in a chair—
i turned my head, but nobody was there.

i heard richard wright laughing upstairs—
but when i went up there, nobody was there.

i smelled the stink of new york intelligentsia—
but when i opened the bathroom door, they aint there.

i dreamed ralph ellison was a gangster con-artist—
but when i woke up, nobody was there.

Harlem Mumbo Jumbo
—for Bruce Nugent

oh harlem, harlem—
negro sea of dinge unrest
engulf me, harlem.

oh harlem, harlem—

submerge me in jazz—
gay cabaret, dinge drag nights
tom-toms & seashells.

oh harlem, harlem—

pollute your swift waves—
claw-snapping crabs let them play
summon the dead tides.

oh harlem, harlem—

oh harlem, harlem—
blaxploitation bijou boy
show me a movie.

The Niggerati Late Show
—for Wallace Thurman, Zora Neale Hurston,
Langston Hughes, Bruce Nugent

the harlem bijou—
shows the best blaxploitation
flicks in the village.

harlem is buzzing—
up there in the balcony
it’s dinge down-low time.

mumbo jumbo night—
the niggeratti late show
up in nigger heaven.

skanky portmanteau—
niggeratti do it too
dinge sci-fi flicks.

Jes Grew
“so jes grew is
seeking new worlds.
its text. for what
good is a liturgy
without a text?”

once i knew this guy—
who was a mandingo man
and didn’t know it.

jes grew possessed him—
the spirits they spoke thru him
mumbo jumbo words.

the mandingo man—
jes grew ecstatically
with ebullience.

Place Congo
place congo was packed—
charta the babouille
counjaille juba.

hoodoo voodoo man—
he jes grew outta the blue
that mandingo man.

jes grew lovers say—
he just grew & took over
out of voodoo blue.

Unknown New Loas
good-looking cajuns—
spanish, french, creole guys
delight in the gods.

unknown new loas—
who never could be explained
new demigods born.

the mandingo man—
invited african gods
to america.

Kongo Possessed
letting new spirits—
zulu ukulu kulu
seize the new horses.

black python hotwired—
his green & black twisted face
land of the panther.

be kongo possessed—
skunk bones, jew’s harp, kazoos
flutes, drums, conch horns, blood.

Speaking in Tongues
then he spoke in tongues—
he had no class or finesse
no consciousness.

he was demonic—
psychic apocalyptic
doors opened & shut.

a shadowy man—
inhales a fat juju joint
behaves skittishly.

Hoodoo Queen Laveau
the hoodoo queen bee—
she be giving sermonette
nude in her foxskins.

near place congo—
the judas-eye door opens
mulatto walks in.

all the parish priests—
uncontrollable frenzies
wiggling like catfish.

Dinge Planet

bootlegged dinge planet—
shameless brazen cokeheads
the creeping thing’s back.

hoodoo queen laveau—
at st. louis cathedral
singing for us now.

my doo-wacka-doo—
voo-do-de-odo fizgig
virile voyant man.

The Future
we jump into my—
statz bearcat there by the church
there’s no time to lose.

it leaks, bleeds, sucks, gnaws—
it devours anything alive
it’s the dinge future.

Text Automatique
What comes out is words—
Obscenely unprintable

krazy kat is there—
bumping & grinding away
they call the guard up.

flabber-ghasted ghost—
“holly mackerel, andy!”
jes grew’s back again!

Harlem Hooligans

harlem hooligans—
sodom & gomorrah queens
queer bohemians.

robber barons and—
big old magnets back up from
gulf of mexico.

jes grew fetishes—
sleazy all street con-artists
ponzi game tycoons.

Zombie Invasion
haiti slave omens—
arizona wetback wars
halliburton whores.

beltway lobbyists—
rotting temple houngan times
still growin’ cotton.

gemini rising—
born on the 4th of july
mercurial kitsch.

Pirate Thugs
gluttonous fat lips—
tobacco auctioneer sluts
new world pirate thugs.

there’s a sucker born—
every fuckin’ minute
at chez mandingo.

jes grew makes you doubt—
that anything can be done
about dirty white boyz.

After Katrina
after katrina—
new orleans is a mess
but voodoo is still alive.

it sleeps in the night—
speaking in tongues way down deep
whenever we dream

jes grew is still there—
shadowy sleuths can’t find him
he be invisible.

HooDoo Voodoo
mulatto eyeballs—
an octoroon big penis
can you hear him groan?

he be high yellow—
lafayette cemetery
his abode’s portal.

alleys, bars, streetcars—
vieux carré beauty parlors
that be where he be?

Van Vechten

he be bewitched planet—
harlem renaissance
just ask van vechten.

cumly chimeras—
aetheric ‘20s double
auras still remain.

speak-easy hearses—
chrome upper-lip cadillacs
pensive bootleg boyz.

Mandingo Planet

harlem cabarets—
niggeratti manor queens
hughes, nugent, thurmond.

forbidden planet—
big easy then big apple
mandingo planet.

HooDoo Voodoo Sci-Fi
—for Samuel R. Delany

another late night at the bijou
the invisible man in the balcony
schmoozing with all the white trash boyz
those lingering bored dirty white boy hands
trying to get inside his yoknapatawpha junk

dirty white boyz can be such ignorant slugs
searching for new ways to feel themselves up
playing with queering faulkner like they do
those dayz at old miss conferences trying
to relate to gay quentin’s queerness.

after all, well, just look at joe
a lot of men like joe christmas get had
the light in august, the sacrilege of
going down on moses, then coming up
as mulatto mandingo voodoo hoodoo boy.

like they be charles bon the beautiful
exiled son & heir of the sutpen dynasty
from his loins will flow jim bond and
charles etienne de saint valery bon
up the mississippi to chicago & beyond.

and even tho henry will shoot him
there at the gates of sutpen’s hundred
‘cause he didn’t wanna marry judith his sister
didn’t want henry as his lover brother-in-law
‘cause he had a big easy wife & kid already.

like he’s got this lynching goin’ on down there
between his legs just like any joe christmas
it goes back to the dark fatherhead that’s
brothered perennial & ubiquitous inside all
the boy flesh ambiguous beneath the stars.

butch beauchamp, shreve mccannon,
quentin compson, henry sutpen, dalton ames,
joe christmas, charles bon, even old man
mccaslin’s incestuous fucking with his own
daughter tomasina—delta dinge rules.

let us pray for this white trash world
and all the dirty white boyz sprung from
the loins of african kings, becoming brothers
albinos, mulattos, high yellows, octoroons
slowly turning invisible planet around.

Friday, January 13, 2012



The Last Leonardo
Apocalyptic Abandonment
Football Fantasy

The Last Leonardo

“It must be an inside job.”
—J. G. Ballard, “The Lost
Leonardo,” The Complete
Stories of J. G. Ballard

They found the Leonardo—
In the Villa Venus propped
Against the wall in a gilt
Frame in the Ballroom

To nobody’s surprise—
The Ballroom was completely
Empty in the once-lavish
Showroom of the Fieldhouse

The Director and Staff—
Of the LSU Louvre relaxed
As well as the weeping
Widow of the Governor

Great limousines came—
And vanished after tense
Exchanged glances of joy
And irreducible gossip

Elegantly dressed Huey—
Radiating a tremendous
Restless energy moved
Rasputin-like thru the crowd

His eyes glowed with—
An intense luster, black
Eyebrows rearing from his
High forehead like wings

His machine-gun bodyguards—
Hustling him into the Cadillac
His strong jaw jutting forward
Expensive black pin-stripe suit

Sitting in the backseat—
White-cuffs and gold tie-pin
Glinting in the limo shadows
Gloved hands waving goodbye

Louisiana Press Lords—
Vieux Carré connoisseurs
French and Creole millionaires
Sprinkled with young demimonde

Moving steadily amidst—
Flashing cameras TV coverage
The Kingfish an Election Surprise
Up past the Fieldhouse & Pool

Up Dalrymple Drive—
Past the Memorial Tower
And the august Law School
Down Highland past Tigertown

Back to the Governor’s mansion—
A posse of police motorcycles
Escourting the great Kingfish
Back to his Capitol Mansion

The Villa d’Huey P. Long—
Past a nexus of pot-holes
The groaning art deco Capitol
Skyscraper of Delta Destiny

Elegantly suited with—
His tremendous restless energy
His powerful charisma stretching
All the way to Washington DC

The Senate silhouetted—
The usual irredeemable kitsch
And hallucinating anticipation
Of what was to come

Like some immense—
Half-crippled resigned Angel
FDR greets the coup-dé-tat
The Kingfish as New President

Apocalyptic Abandonment

“Fiction about the present day”
—J. B. Ballard, “Intro to Crash”
The Complete Stories of
J. G. Ballard

I didn’t want to write—
About the Huey P. Long Pool
Or the eerie Ballroom
With its spooky balcony

I didn’t want to—
Mention such a nightmare
The slow shrinking of his
WPA Thirties leitmotif

And yet he made me—
Reaching out of the past
Somehow knowing what
Happened to his Fieldhouse

His Stage Scenery—
Gone Dixie panorama
He made me write about
His WPA Thirties dream

The voracious Present—
Having annexed his Past
And now this sacred
Set piece in dismal ruins

Devoured by us—
Concepts of past, present
And future usurped by
Apocalyptic Abandonment

I feel off-balance—
Fiction and reality changing
Devouring everything with
Mass Merchandizing madness

Higher Education conducted—
As a Branch of Advertising,
Football preempting just about
Everything with greed

Football Fantasy

“The fiction is already here”
—J. B. Ballard, “Intro to Crash”
The Complete Stories of
J. G. Ballard

Football fiction thrives—
Huey P. Long the very first
Cheerleader Governor who
Invented this Genre

We live inside this—
Enormous Football Novel
It’s already here and it
Dominates everything

The LSU Tiger Stadium—
Pete Maravich Assembly Center
The huge new Natatorium
Assuming a complete Fiction

We live inside this—
Enormous perverse deviant
Crash scene cataclysm
This Sports World Novel

A pandemic pushy—
Marriage between sex,
Technology and education
A Kingfish Nightmare

A Porno Novel—
A corporate politicized
Form of Fiction exploiting
Urgently, ruthlessly

The aging Fieldhouse—
A glowering Node of Horror
A sty in the Eye of us all
Worse than Katrina

But to renovate the Pool—
Temps Retrouvé the Past
With Banana Republic Style
Perhaps it’s the thing to do?