#BlaPoWriMo – politics as usual

deep in the belly of the whale
a new machinery of governance,
an infrastructure is coalescing –
out of sight and out of mind –
the promised one might just be
in for a surprise by southerners
feeling the bern, sly as a fox,
ready to go the distance
of the bruising battles to come –
grey never fades – the same while
the machinery measures its new
strength, deciding once and for all
if it wants to be network anesthesia
or the herald of a brave new world.

#BlaPoWriMo – Poem in Negro dialect (kinda)

The wicked witch of the East?
The old, decrepit, ancient East?
She dead. House fell on her ass
during the storm.  Feet all shriveled up.
That witch ain’t going nowhere!
Ain’t gon bother nobody!

But the wicked witch of the West?
The new, modern, amoral West?
She be alive and kicking.
Causing all kinds o’ trouble.
Done signed a deal with the Wizard.
The lying Wizard.
Dorothy has her hands full with those two.
And the lion ain’t got no courage.

#BlaPoWriMo – Amen

It dawned on me
after citing a quote
and asking for an Amen –

I live in a secular
white world, where some folks
might not know
what an Amen is.

I write for multiple
audiences, cultures,
and I have multiple
personalities for dealing
with each of many
multiple worlds.

And I am quadri-lingual,
at least on most days,
moving back and forth
across these worlds –
so let it be.


Finally. At the airport. We have arrived –
our voyage almost complete. Finished.
This leg. As GSO I spent so many days here,
so many late nights meeting visitors,
crews, teams for our new building project.

Half all caught up in a series of local dramas.
I remained detached, aloof, aware
of the inconsequentiality
of fleeting troubles, phantoms that soon fade.

Goodbye for now, Mama Africa! We have
your hopes & dreams, cross-stitched with our own,
your cabeceira, veludo, and faroba,
your malagueta and honey in our baggage –
the sweetened waters of Pinjiguiti,
the reddened stain of palm oil on our lips.

observations of the voyage

every voyage has some disappointment,
missed communications, money change failures,
shopping opportunities lost,
transportation misfires –

The mango seeds sound like
rain falling,
spoiling my last Monday.

I know how to go,
but I know how to stay
and avoid unknown risks in the streets.


a soft rain fell on a cloudy yesterday
both uncommon in the dry season
more wigs, more weaves, more straightened hair
in the market – the French influence
more Fula & Mandinga traders, immigrants
at the bank – the Muslim influence
buyers, money traders, information seekers –
bankers accept dollars – reject American passports
for our account transactions.


The cooperative class & the petite bourgeoisie
are too closely linked, by blood, by culture,
to carry out effectively the goodwill intentions
of the ruling class. Something has to give here,
to relieve the pressure of the expanding gas.
Class suicide is required by both, together,
and both need to consider anew their re-Africanization.

Boxing Day in Bissau

I hit a bump on the poetry road –
too much to eat, too much conversation
left no time or space to write. Catching up
now that the day has passed –

memories of old mythologies:
A boat that was buried
the time of the giants
confusion among the petite bourgeoisie

the “state” is a massive mythology
whose political parties play a football game
that can go either way as long as it all
self-preserves – the mechanics of administration
a curiosity that captures our best minds –
time better spent in education & poetry.