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.

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