Voices of Bettering American Poetry 2015 — Kenyatta JP Garcia


Do you feel that your writing is necessarily assumed to be autobiographical? How do you feel about this assumption? I would assume that my writing is read as being autobiographical even when it’s particularly disjointed, disorienting … [Read More]

Source: Voices of Bettering American Poetry 2015 — Kenyatta JP Garcia

Take Place


Been rubbernecking. Keeping an eye out for where time took an odd moment to add an extra scar to the road.

*

The last ditch that took some effort to carve. To assure a certain waylay for someone just needing to get away.

*

The truth for all its power sets everybody else free but itself. Instead chooses transformation. Settles for concealment. To be protected from witnessing itself.

*

Can’t turn my back on myself but my back also won’t look me in my face so what good’s a back anyway? If it didn’t come with the body why would anyone even bother having one?

*

The faults furthered the cause of the tectonic shifts. Line breaks will always be a part of this world. Each side is a stanza. The earth quakes suddenly understanding another version needs to take place. This place.

Tongues for Days


purling this timidity into

cities translated by clouds

as forever rests

on gossipers’ tongues.

*

gulls been fending for

and fending off

longer than this shyness

ever existed.

 

electricity’s been static

fingertips

discovered nothing

but an experience.

*

didn’t go / didn’t get

mad

but took in a tear

on receiving news.

 

sheltered sadness

fostered it

for sake of something.

 

parrots had nothing to repeat.

mockingbirds eased of mimicry.

 

quieted, calmed –

reflecting on the essentiality

of being

another animal.

*

instinctively,

descent comes closer to home

to find the core –

bypass wounds, scars, sore spots

to dismay of symptoms

distracting the cure

*

in fear, death rises again

within

 

breaking out

heaven from hell

fury from fate

injustice amused

*

with a distaste being mutual between

needle and cloth

thread – the only common friend –

binds both until

the job is through.

*

aloof

crammed into the corners of the mind –

holding up the walls of theories never to be

a fly holding back the boulder

telling Sisyphus

give up the task

 

what worse could possibly come?

*

rain hungers for a face

tongues for a drop

 

Afro-Nowism When The Future Feels Too Far Away


now as much as ever we need space even more.

steel and superpowers.
we been magical
but sorcercery hasn’t been enough.
*
oh lawd, can a nigga get a force field!
*
let’s talk that real pillow talk
holding onto hope
when thoughts and prayers have failed

let’s snuggle up into cybernetic fantasies of nanotech
smarter than the biology of fingers
and tin of badges
*
oh jesus, how much stronger we got to get?
*
whom does the singularity include?
*
why couldn’t creation have just been a myth?

electric memories keep eyes lit
all night long computing
while chains keep bodies in place,
while cells provide shelter
when the streets fill up with the phobia generations in the making.
so long in the making time travel has more dangers
than the edge of the universe.
*
send thoughts and prayers to parallel dimensions.
maybe they’ll be of some use there.
*
maybe the horizon holds another event
the roads of this dystopia
have yet to find.
*
what good are the pistons without the gas and the grease?
what’s a mission mean
as acid rain tears at the hood
revealing rust and the algorithms
of a nation
forcing you to drive onward?
*
what’s left?
what else is there when only space seems safe?
when to leave is the best defense?
because to stay is conflict.
everyday is a casualty.
the struggle is actually an assault.

Overcast


“… can never forget

Once every wall was water…”

Mary Oliver

Goals were never stated

for tears

set free

for overcast

brought about

by and for

some unknown

bend of shame,

regret.

 

Dampened consequences

bringing to rot

an idea

someone else

would

die for.

Could Be Competition


“can you make it rain harder”

(Prince – before the Super Bowl)

the world don’t behave

and why not

what else is there to be

but transformed?

*

nothing compares

diamonds/pearls

pressure applied/mounting

couldn’t make anything

else

*

when the lakes rose, doves found higher ground. there are tiers. places to rise to.

*

it’s not all symbols,

symbolic, symbolism

but maybe it is. if so, own it. that’s how freedom works. it’s how bats become bigger than the night. how an echo becomes the cave. how in and out transcend placement.

*

and how does an elevator

have the strength to

carry on?

*

what will it take to coax a cessation out of death?

*

as if life

ever had a choice

there’s no other king in town

*

ain’t got no money

working part-time

pretending the rest

.

a little much

. . .

what’s the other?

*

the max,

the morning papers,

the moonlight

who can’t be asked

anything anymore the way it used to when it was cherry

and only a red corvette could be

competition.

Variety


who decides ‘or’

? how unfortunate are those

who have power over choice!

here in cells w/ stow away

diversity

there is only ‘and’

crawling into pores

forces tongues

to reform / revolt /

rear-end

codeswitches stuck

on one more signal

up ahead at crossroads

needed to be crossed

to reach next

reference point.

*

this is both a determiner and the determined

this – the first person

– singular / collective

this – specific. definite.

of this who has control?

glory be to the world of options,

to the land of variety.