POETRY

Above the Clouds
Beautiful Landscape

effigy

 

 

do not want

my image 

spray painted 

a hundred feet high

on the brick wall

of a tenement 

in memoriam

another

cautionary tale

or veiled threat?

 

do not want

a tshirt

with my last words

emblazoned 

across the chest

another sacrifice

to the unsatiated

demigods of hatred

 

do not want

a moment of silence

to remember me

a gesture as empty

as the thoughts and prayers

of mesmerized sycophants

and counterfeit

saints

 

i

do not want

the people

i love

grasping

for a way

to make sense

of the madness

of wannabe kings 

and paupers

 

want

to live

 

 

 

gerald l. coleman 

friday 29th may, 2020

Pile of Logs

the destroyer of worlds

(for the loaners of books)

 

 

i will not

loan my books

to the goddess

 

Kali said

i will devour

them

 

with a gleam

of delight

in her eyes

her six arms

outstretched

the destroyer said

she would take them 

as tribute

but they would not return 

whole 

 

she said

she would peel back 

their skin

and 

with many-fingered glee

crack

their spines

sucking out 

their marrow 

with a coffee stirrer

 

standing astride the world 

with

the remains of bound pages

in her tantric hands

stained

battered

emaciated

the Black Goddess of Dakshineswar

the destroyer of worlds

said 

she would leave them 

in her wake

like broken ships

scattered along a sanskrit shore

 

the Slayer of Raktabija

drunk 

on the blood of verses

with paragraphs 

dripping

from her fangs

dances among the corpses

of tattered tomes

 

she does not promise

resurrection 

to those who worship

at her temple

only a kind

of reincarnation

a pity induced restitution 

wrapped in infatuation 

for the loss

of loved ones

 

so while

i love those

who love words

who love the taste of them

who love how they smell in the morning

 

i cannot

loan the goddess

my books

 

Kali said

i will devour them

 

 

 

 

 

gerald l. coleman

jan. 28, 2013

312CED40-1D7E-4526-9820-246D0BC2C4F3.jpe

bless your heart

 

 

i don't remember

where i heard it

first

it was just

in the air 

like please, thank you

and ma'am

 

it's that tart 

piece of lemon

floating on a

white frosty layer

of glaze

in the sweet ice tea

it's that extra inch

of meringue

on the brown

sugar pie

it was the big smile

wrapped around

a cruel lie

 

you see, down here

where the ale eight is cold

and the a la mode is warm

where cole slaw 

and baked beans 

on the side 

of fried catfish 

is the law

we don't scream

kiss my ass

 

we like to pour molasses

on our consternation

lap it up

with a biscuit

 

nobody does it better

than a saccharine

sanguine sara 

a how do you do

sally mae, anna bell

patricia faye or abbie gail 

with her gum poppin

and her hips rockin

to the side

with a manicured hand 

perched

just so

on a hip

curved like

a granny smith 

apple 

 

you see, down this way 

where the grass

is blue

between the corn bread

and the corn puddin

with homemade rolls

and collard greens

chased down with

five

berry

pie

we don't holla

dumb motherfucker or

take the lord's name

in vain

 

we like to spread butter

all over our dissatisfaction

eat it toasted

maybe with a little

strawberry preserve

 

so listen close

or you might mistake 

the smile

for a grin

or the curse

for a blessing

 

because 

down here

where the whisky

is bourbon

and the koolaid

is diabetes sweet

we don't yell

fuck you

 

we like to smother it

and cover it

with gravy

until it's running

over the sides

 

down here

we smile

we wave

and say

 

bless your heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

gerald l. coleman 

may 2, 2016

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"I just knew there were stories I wanted to tell. " Octavia Butler