Thursday, July 07, 2016


© 7 July 2016, the Griot Poet

“Racism has gotten worse under Obama,”

Because as “head negro in charge”

He was supposed to be
Their post-racial-society-in-blackface step-n-fetch

He was not supposed to comment on the conflicts that’s taking place
In streets and alleyways
Almost weekly and daily

Without skipping a beat:

After Alton Sterling
Was shot for selling CDs (not loosies)
Like Eric Garner in New York streets;
We couldn’t catch our breaths
Until another King: Philandro Castile
Was gunned down for a busted tail light
Both men carrying LEGAL concealed handguns
But, I guess not the “good guys” the NRA had in mind...

And like burning in effigy,
Their previous criminality
Is researched heavily
To justify
The public lynching
Of black bodies
On modern poplar trees bearing “strange fruit”;

We don’t have to look up in the sky
For Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind:

The transatlantic slave trade
Was the first “alien abduction”
Black bodies loaded into the bowels of mother ships
The inaugural christened “The Good Ship Jesus.”

Examined and prodded like cattle
Kings watched their Queens impregnated by hostile aliens;
Royalty watching their progeny sold off like furniture;
Their names, language, religion and culture
Beaten out of their appropriated bodies

By the vultures of capitalism
That refuse to pay reparations
For centuries of Jim Crow, sharecropping and free labor
For terrorism from the KKK and the NRA that inaugurated themselves at the SAME time

Slave patrols being the progenitor of the modern day police force
Occupying lands stolen from Native Americans,
Policing the appropriated bodies stolen by their ancestors,

No: Obama didn’t make racism worse – he revealed it.

Every success despite regressive resistance to his presidential agenda
Was a slap in the face of their mother’s milk of white supremacy;
It’s a terrible thing when you see your god pulled down
From his lofty perch like an Ashtoreth pole

So, in a desperate move
Some have sold their souls
Pulling off their robes

To bow at the feet
Of a reality real estate tax cheat

That’s had more bankruptcies than marriages
Only topped by his “tough guy” five Vietnam draft deferments;

His “telling it like it is,” an abandonment of the gentile “Southern Strategy” wink-and-nod
That gave the party plausible deniability

Flashing small hand sets like a mad mime wasting our time,
Talking off teleprompter and laying out Word Salads
Not making any sense at all to his thronging herd worshiping

A demagogue,

Because hell-on-earth
Apparently has its worth
To the impotent!

Sunday, April 24, 2016


© 24 April 2016, the Griot Poet

He prophesied of heavenly realms and afterworlds;
We partied like it was 1999 in 1982 with his lyrical missive: “parties weren’t meant to last.”
24 hours hadn’t passed
When the blood sport of trashing just dead icons began
A “save shot” six days’ prior
When your former heroin habit;
Conversion to veganism and Jehovah’s Witness religion
Were public record

We have to rehash as we trash
The idols we once built up
Because like parties, popular deities weren’t meant to last
Little mention of your gifts to Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis and Eric Garner’s mothers
Your free concert in Baltimore;
You channeled pain that would fell normal mortals into madness
Into creative genius
Teaching yourself to play 27 instruments
Without formal lessons;
Singing lead and backup vocals
Arranging and producing all of your albums;
Playing 24 and 48 hour straight sets
In Paisley Park
Where they found you in the elevator
We “all went crazy” on social media
At the news of you
Having “punched a higher floor” leaked out…

Though your lyrics were decidedly heterosexual
Your androgyny and celebration of human sexuality
Freed many an LGBT teen
Before suicide and apathy claimed them.
Now since Will and Grace,
LOGO and Ru Paul;
This freedom has become cliché

The freedom you championed
With the tattoo “slave”
On your right cheek
Giving way to the Independent Artists movement
That aren’t waiting to get “discovered”
Or giving over their power and ownership of their works
To corporate conglomerates
That leave them penniless.

In many ways
You were our Amadeus:
Genius and malevolent;
Pious and irreverent;
Small in stature and giant;
You were mystery incarnate,
The question: “am I black or white; am I straight or gay?”
You posed in the song Controversy
And like a Zen Koan, refused to answer it.
You told everyone to hold their prayers
For a few days,
Knowing you’d prepared
Not an unmarked mass grave as your namesake,
But a private pious ceremony
Planned with no flash or aplomb
As your stage presence had been.

Your ashes – like Einstein – scattered to the winds
And we are left with, like him, the body of your many works.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Trench Coat...

Source: 7 Essential Items for Parisian Chic Style
© 9 February 2016, The Griot Poet

"Can you please take care of the check?"

Let me rewind how we got to that...

We meet for dinner.
We have a good time over food and atmosphere

You even pretend that my corny jokes are witty,
Your very presence has made me more giddy
Than the best dinner Moscato

You excuse yourself to go
To the ladies room

I stand at your departure
(another part of me stands as well)
and almost swoon at your walk:


I can't think of better time spent.

You return, not in your dress,
but robed in a trench coat,

I confess confusion: "are you expecting rain?"

You drop science in the vein
of the contents of your purse:

Your dress;
Your panties;
Your bra...

Wearing nothing else except your pumps and a smile.

I stare in awe at your audaciousness and guile,
You break the silence with:

"Can you please take care of the check?"

I am a nervous wreck,
Trying to appear cool driving,
as you direct me
to your apartment...

Pre-planned candles are lit
as my own clothes shed

In your bed
I kneel between the pillars of your altar to speak in 10,000 tongues
Careful not to miss a single one,
Palming your ass; kneading the nipples on your breast;

Savoring the flavor of your cum momentarily,
You draw me to your lips;
then into you

My dominatrix...

Your legs wrap me
and whatever machismo
I've ever felt
melts away.

A haiku
my father would say
comes to remembrance
In my ecstasy and to my chagrin:

"my son, know this, a
man has 'caught' a woman when
she embraces him."

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Near the Levee (repost)...

Architecture What is a Levee?
© 21 September 2005, The Griot Poet
Inspired by the article from Dr. Cornel West: “Exiles from a city and from a nation,” 11 September 2005.

Note: I corrected the spelling of levee in the title and text (it was originally "levy" as a double entendre). On reflection of the carnival barking political times we're in and to avoid the appearance of xenophobia, a preposition and country name were both exchanged from their original versions. The piece still hits powerfully, and clarifies instead of stereotypes, origin of the demand for drugs in this country is this country in total, and no one group in particular.

Dedicated to my cousin from New Orleans, John (Gus) Holmes, Jr., his beautiful family, and the survivors of Hurricane Katrina (note: they're all fine, and relocated to another state).


“When you live so close to death”
You create songs in the French Quarter on Slave Sundays that follow no pattern.
Rhythm set by clap and tambourine; washboard and kettle drum,

Old people hum in accompaniment to a Constantine Christian jubilee celebration of no cotton bailed; no backbreaking labor toiled.
The one suit you own is spoiled from overuse, and your children’s children carry on the tradition of “dress up” to anesthetize their pain.

“When you live so close to death”
The Mississippi delta builds a sediment foundation for your tragicomic pain:
“Laughing to keep from crying” births the blues!

“When you live so close to death”
People of your hue fought and escaped the French back in the day, and each day are turned away each year as they try to escape the death-hole now known as… Haiti.

“When you live so close to death, you live (life a little) more intensely,”
You create order out of chaos, from Massa raping your sisters and mothers to slaves tipping with another man’s lover: “hey baby, can we JAZZ around a little bit”?

Fighting fiercely in mock duels modeled after “southern gentlemen,” feeling disrespected, passing it down from Jazz procreation to your Hip Hop great-grandchildren’s generation as being “dissed”: with the same deadly consequences.

“When you live so close to death”
What are scraps from Massa’s table become culinary creations:
- Craw dads;
- Jambalaya;
- Gumbo;
- Shrimp Creole
- And Etoufée!

“When you live so close to death”
Lead and pollutants they allowed for your kind to warp your minds & drive the I.Q.s of your babies down scarred your psychology

BEFORE the levees broke;
BEFORE the drug flights to America!

“When you live so close to death”
You are not counted; clouded – an invisible majority under the all-mighty shadow of insignificance: exiles in your own country, resembling from years of neglect more “third world” than ninth ward or US citizenry

Hence, their news media in their quest for a ratings spree mislabeled you “refugees.”

Now, suddenly they are on our side, “shocked and awed” back to the reality of their sacred duty to inform the citizenry of a democracy… neglected for five years.

Shocked by the sight of dead bodies marred by dogs and crocodiles, piled in stairwells like logs… floating downstream! It seems perceptions change once you’re beyond a sheltered, suburban political haze, and find YOURSELF for many days
Breathing the stench,
Your own eyes seeing,
Your own ears hearing the gunshots and screams… in this country,
You cannot believe you could stay reasonably SANE…

Living so close to death!