Thursday, October 05, 2006


dedicated to the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture at Duke University in Durham, NC

between ourselves
a cellular discord
in this place named for music
in this place named for music
i have everthing
sinking plush into doom
i have everything
but the space to sing

everything i say
falls apart
you weave it into noose
my donation towards february

as i spread my palms
epidermal sacrifice to imported cotton
i breathe can i can i afford to breathe
and i breathing hear
sit me rigid into woodwind
pull me rankly into minor
in this place named for music
oh melodic mary lou
in this place remade, renamed now by you
when i put myself out
cold jook joint cigarette out
what i get out of this is (get out, get out)
i am telling you
i only get out of tune
what do you get?

is not the key
of daily murder
a minstrel act
in which your presence
burns the core out of my voice
attends to my silence
like a surrogate mammy?

when we reproduce my rape
like a glaze for the finger food
slick wheel of my fallout
poor stand-in for sustenance
dare we call it revolution

in this place named into blackness
into affirmation of these buildings
plantation transformed
keep keep keepin on stage
keeping mastery in
keeping showtime profitable
keeping duke in the black

in this place Mary Lou
claimed by you
moving through
some catechism of accountability to whom?

here i am learning
forgery almost spells forget
be for gotten be for gain for who now?

softer break smothered scream
i told you
it falls apart

what i mean to ask is
how much?
how much?
how much?

how much
do how much due
how much did we do
how much do
tell me
how much
how much
how much
the cushions

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