Sometimes

Here is a poem I started in 1986 and never finished after getting feedback from the editor of a poetry journal. She was right, of course, but until now, I didn’t know how to finish it. Works-in-progress often take that — progress not in the work, but in the poet. On one level, it feels…

But He Don’t Take American Express

A common theme in my writing during the late 80s was Africanism, the flip side of which, I suppose, was Negroism. This was one of my favorite poems about Negrishness. It’s never been published anywhere before. Word. Met this cat name Luce other night on The Corner hunnet twenny-fif’ street an’ Lenox. He was just…

Throwback Thursday – 2014.03.20

When I look back on my dusty, handwritten poems from my early days, I’m struck by three things. First, how bad some of them were. Second, that some of them–with minor improvement–aren’t bad at all. And third, always, how much race and ethnicity featured in my writing. It’s not so much that times have changed,…