A prose-poem I wrote when I was 21

A old college friend of mine unearthed the long-forgotten following piece from a defunct literary journal. I was 21 at the time, and enamored of  the poetry of Aime Cesaire, stream-of-conscious writing and automatic writing. This is the only copy of the piece that survives. Please forgive the wall of text and clumsy metaphors.

a tree some rocks benches but no clouds: had there been clouds this would look just like Charleston in summer where the plaza’s elegant arrangement held hues of euphoria along with various shades of sungold: a jasmine breeze lifted carnival-colored dresses strands of white people’s thin thin hair paper leaves and choir robes: there was a hush a silence as profound as music then the singing began weakly at first but it gathered strength till every particle of air quivered with the ululation of human voice: your voice you asked where is my voice does the lady in third row hear me: for a while you heard the individuals Etta Maes theatrical tremolo Mauvines  giantess soprano Urseles I’ve seen it all and child don’t I sound like Mahalia Jackson screams: but you forgot about them and let the pure sound roll over you lost yourself in it no thought just God as sound: the last song remember especially swing lowsweetchariot coming for to carry me home cause white people started to clap not because it was good—it was a cliche arrangement—but because it was the generic negro spiritual and you got a kick out of how they can get so worked up over something so easy to understand for them its a gorgeous hopeful work song reward for being a good nigger it says is heaven milk honey: but they can’t hear the dark of the song the magic the power they hear gonewiththewind: after the concert the Hazel Street Ladies Book Club wept and commented over the concert by the seventh street baptist church you smiled and ate the naggingly mediocre food still something burned into you from that day and it wasn’t the choir or the weather it was the old immense black woman who began to sing right outside of the courtyard brutal tarnished dark it held that intangible magic only men and women knew whose aliens threatened the antiseptic souls: little clouds formed over the Ladies heads and written in them was o my a nigress: this however is not Charleston but it will suffice: you close your eyes sway find the power a voice bleeds and fills the space between rafters neon signs the linoleum: lazy gaunt stick figures think old fool but you abandon them and move towards the danger that draws you like a magnet: you haunt enchant curse the undecided dots of color the people move and shift a thousand little clouds with o my a nigress: maybe five are captured and feel the wound of your song a sharp sweet knife: you sing of chains that bruise the tender flesh of tumescent white genitals and black ones hitting sun baked earths in showers of blood or babies brains dashed against wooden walls of anathema but well hidden in themanilove masterthetempest strangefruit: you make up worlds to flamencosketches pure musical scarves for orangeswasthecolorofherdressthensilkblue you murder summertime with bitterness your underwrite Porter/Gershwin with sarcasm: you sing you leave your body you don’t feel the knife entering your throat or the bracelets of metal around your wrists or the blood on your dress because you remember with triumph: this magic this enchantment this beauty has one price you must pay your life your death: but you will haunt: with rage: with beauty.

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