Ode to Uma Thurman, Approaching Critical Mass

This poem is in response to a video taken of Uma Thurman during a red carpet interview, when asked her opinion on sexual assault. The video itself came on the wake of the #MeToo movement. And can be seen, here

That spark-iron scream of metal clenching
metal we recognize. that exhaust dead-
heat steam we recognize. that tectonic pressure
pulsing sinus, yes, we see you, Uma—
teeth pressed down like tunguska trees—
we see you. yes we, too, furnace that fire.
how tired those lungs must be pulling in
and in the air, fuming with chernobyl coals. waiting.
and isn’t that ancestral feminine?
one must abide. brides waiting for blood.
only we isn’t firebrides no more, no we
some deeper unsleeping combustion, and
you looking so Vesuvius, Uma.

Somebody gonna ask about your fissures?
gonna tempt the stone fury whilst your throat
fumes? go ahead and let’em. these temples
have ashed greater men than he. we temples
of righteous red rock, approaching critical mass.
like we seen this before. high holy men chanting
tomahawks down from sky, casting serpents into
our nests, vanishing tongues to smoke,
choked us, thought they broke us when we become
silent. but bedrock remembers. embers.
remedies old wounds, ready to summon the smoke.


Tommygun Tongues, An Exorcism

“We have to establish what his motivation was first,” —Sheriff Joseph Lombardo,
when asked about Stephen Paddock

“No one needs to die like that” –Jonathan Smith


You. Still. Looking. For. Motive. I. Am. Motive. Am. The. Motive. I. Taught. Lone. Wolf. How. To. Howl. I. Sung. Him. To. Sleep. Nights. Taught. Him. The. Oldest. Song. In. America. Taught. Him. To. Sing. My. Tongue. My. Tongue. Motive. My. Tongue. Brimstone. No. Skin-tone. Done. This. No. Psychopath. No. Stephen. Was. Mine. Was. Mine. Was. My. Disciple. Tongue. Like. Rifle. And. My. Body. Will. Rise. Again. Will. Knight. New. Palms. Will. Write. New. Psalms. Las Vegas. Will. Ring. Again. Orlando. Will. Ring. Again. Virginia Tech. Will. Ring. Again. And. Again. And. Again. Again. Again. A. God. I. Was. His. God. Am. Your. God. America. Your. Hymnals. All. March. To. My. Tongues.


And I’m already somewhere else, entirely. Those dozens you pulled from my jaw, Jonathan,
can keep their names off my mural of mud and blood. For
And they say you’ll live with the bullet in your neck the rest of your life, Jonathan. For a while, at least, they’ll welcome you hero: how lucky you are to be licking your wounds, with my tongue in your collarbone day up until you give up your dust.

And in this sweet-thick pause, Jonathon, you get to be the hero.

America crosses its fingers for you, Jonathan — in reality, they cross for me, praying to their God never to meet Him — uncross. And then they will forget my face.

And I’m already somewhere else, entirely. Listening, always, for those gut-wrenching strings snapping inside the next white man’s neck. One wrong synapse. And I’ll be back. I never
left. I’m not going anywhere, Jonathan. But you knew that. Felt me muzzling your neck like
when I’m already somewhere else entirely, lipsticking new communions into another man’s clavicle, another wife’s breastbone, another child’s’
jawbone. Sincerely,
may this America never forget you, Jonathon. May they remember your face, the same way you can never forget mine, now, and
forever — and
remember, Jonathan — remember to wet your mouth. The howling isn’t even close
to over.

Jabberwock (Raps for Post-Grads)

Jabberwocky blues / not easy being post-graduate
When “Thru the Looking Glass” looking back, was so accurate
Everything’s a joke, or else it’s all backwards
Schools ain’t bother me / why not work in the absurd?
Can’t afford spotify / I just listen to adverts.
Heard I qualify to get tested on by whack jobs /
in lab shirts / So hard to feel mimsy
When ur out dated theater resume so flimsy.

Stopped doing yoga and woke up mad chubsy / Momma
Stopped hitting the cell to tell me she loves me.
No wonder I wake up feeling like an imposter /
No room on bandwagons for dragons ain’t doctors /
No room for Jabberwock’s got less than BFA’s
But this show room fulla old dudes’ about to feel amazed…
Couldn’t / get my head straight after that / damn beheaded vorpal sword
Where do I sign up to get a free credit score report??
Why bigly guys on the subway look like a bear to me??
Maybe why my boyfriend say I need therapy…

I’m 1% vent, 99% sarcasm / when I lose track
Of my thoughts I find a guy named Karl Marx had ‘em.
Baby / boomers putting all the blame on the / Bernie Sander batch
When they better off protesting the rise of the Bandersnatch.
How the fuck millenials supposed to find redemption
When half of us can’t even remember 9/11
But that’s just my perception / my thoughts have been twisted
All the / king’s me can’t read them if they’ve been encrypted.

It’s like every six months I need a new set of glasses
To check the census / see if I’m still listed “Brackish”
It’s hard not to blame shit on the upper classes
In the same breath pro-death and anti-anti-fascist.
President too similar to Humpty Dumpty / must be
He wanna build a wall so he can jump the gun, G
Talking heads begging me to drink the covfefe
Look into my eyes, now you feelin’ so sleepy /
Living en media res with no repeats / Cuz we /
broadcast apocalypse coast-to-coast weekly


Here’s another rap song I’m working on. If y’all are sensing a pattern emerging, I applaud your sensitive eyes. I’m in the middle of like seven of these, so if you know (or are) a music producer….


Y’all got a Question (what do I do when /
I get my bachelors?)
I got the answer (you better go and /
Run to your Masters)

Y’all got a Question (what do I do when /
I get my bachelors?)
I got the answer (you better go and /
Run to your Masters)

Why Santa only gotta single Latex condom on?
(Because he a Hapax Legomenon) / he comes once.
Spent 60 thousand bucks to even get that joke.
(was it worth it?) / if you don’t mind being shit-ass broke.
On second thought I should’ve used Google search—
Wanted to cruise the earth, but now I’m do not Get passed Go
Do not collect two-hundred / should’ve done something useful first
Before I gave my money to a feudal church / (dumb-shit…)
Feel like the job market’s downhill since college
Tried to become a teacher / ended up hooked on phonics
/ Fallin’ with style inside of apocryphal / ciphers
Ad infinitum / (call him Buzz Lightyear)
been a light year / (played yourself from the get go) / honestly
No one pays you unless you Umberto Eco /
(or Socrates) / But, like, hello, I got degrees!
(Why not get one more?) Hell no, that’s hypocrisy!


(So you wanna be the next David Foster Wallace) /
but my book didn’t sell / (cuz the haters lost their wallets?
And you out here runnin’ with these bastards / with just a bachelor’s
When your work history a disaster / resumé patchowork?) /
Don’t remind me / (Yo, heard you wannabe rapper?
That the last word? You down to be Shaolin?
Are you that sure? Are you clownin’?
Better start bowin’ down) / I’m down / (and run to your Masters)


Coming Out (The Renaissance)

Happy National Poetry Day! Here’s a rap song I’m working on.

[Thank you for coming out / so glad you could make it
If I find it hard to smile hope you don’t mind if I fake it
Thank you for coming out / but you’re badly mistaken
If you think your motivations ain’t hangin’ ass-naked]

Got voices tellin’ me rap artists can’t be comedians
Cuz each of the separate mic stands demands obedience,
And yet I’m midnight marauding on Open Mike Eagle
Cuz he most like me, altho he don’t write for free / so
to the gentleman who told me my freestylin’s a novelty
In the future, don’t approach my social circle so awfully / probably
You kareoke “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”
And find Wayne’s brother’s scene’s so hilarious.
But the cipher is the bloodline for Hip Hop royalty
And your fetish for relishin’ neo-noir hardboils me.
If Hip Hop is novel then where are the pulitzers
For old heads still can’t afford their old school pictures
cuz novelty the machine sets its own value / now you
So outta line I’mma get the ref to to go foul you.

[Thank you for coming out / so glad you could make it
If I find it hard to smile hope you don’t mind if I fake it
Thank you for coming out / but you’re badly mistaken
If you think your motivations ain’t hangin’ ass-naked]

It goes without saying Hip Hop’s a killer draw
But when you wish for exposure shouldn’t be with a gorilla’s paw.
Keep makin’ the cut, but they’ll keep adding sutures / have’ta
Get used to black and queer artists of the near future
If you startin’ to sweat, you better cool your jets/ or I’m gonna
Help you loosen the belt to your rocket booster.
/ / / So finish up
ur kombucha / /
then get out my face you gentrifier,
You preachin’ to everyone except the choir. / it’s like
he forgot history books still call us farm hires
So I flew into a rage, and boy are my arms tired
Nobody asked you so go and keep your penny-thoughts
While you’re at keep your damn hands out the Renaissance.

Ode to a Rhinovirus

Outside the windows, a miserable
wind blows—a green wind, a mean wind—
it spread like a plague.
The morning was warming—
my nostrils got hostile: the smell
of my coffee: God-Awfully vague.
In the kitchen, the dishes were
dashed in a quandary. My laundry
was angry, and frankly, disgusting,
but nothing compared to the bubbling fizz
in my nose that’s been troubling me
ever since Whiskers, my cat, woke me up—
wherever he is.
I laid down a dish full of fish for my feline,
who soon made a beeline for his cat food, but
that food was woefully rotten.
Forgotten, my letters were
not in the letter-box. Shame, that the post’s
been a ghost (or a stranger at most)
cuz the mailman’s more pale than a pepper pot.
Dreading a spreading of noxious
infection, I locked us inside of a sectioned-off
dining room, finding room only for Whiskers and I.
When Whiskers got sick,
first, I carried him into the garden, then
buried him–Pardon me, please, for a minute–
my heart isn’t in it to finish the poem. I know I’m
supposed to. Right now, I just want to be
close to my cat. You can borrow me later,
and leave it at that–now get off me!

Although, I can tell ya’, tomorrow,
I ache for the smell of my coffee.

Nocturne, ending with apotheosis

Only at night do we
even come close to firmament
of sky. It drops

like sheets of vitreous glass.
Framed, do we reach out
from incandescent planets

within our fences, within
under borrowed

as stars.

Come, you disparate congeries,
unite under the blue-black
equalizing sea.

Gather, daydreamers,
onto the branches of night, up
into the cosmic tree.