The Poetry of America:
Amiri Baraka Born Again Inside a 1943 Dali Painting
by Brad Walrond
Salvador Dalí, 1943 oil on canvas
The Poetry of America
reads like a bold-faced concussion
suddenly I can’t remember
whether this desert used to be a plantation
before it transitioned into a Dust Bowl
America’s first gold rush
was black as cotton
I’ve lived long enough to witness
slave owners reinvent themselves
as a National Football League
male privileged amputees
wear wife beaters and loose lip canons
who still find time in between commercials
to turn Serena’s nipple into an auto-erotic instrument
blood-ink areola turn to
oil con gas
pure as unrefined sugar
inside a Warhol coca-cola bottle
long long before Andy was born
if domesticated aliens
tote America’s impugnable innocence
along an always ironed white sheet
that used to be the Japanese flag
at the indigenous red clay
get your box seats and gamble on Reservations
while White supremacy sits on top of Goodell’s ass
who da one made referees
cry foul in black and white uniforms?
are those outfits uniforms or flashbacks?
or is it we all become naked and bi-racial
at 3rd and goal on Monday nights?
Who’s marking Time at Washington’s Monument?
Who the hell spells Malcolm with an X?
Is Amiri Baraka’s poems as negro
and american as LeRoi Jones’
in this Norton Anthology?
or vice versa
meanwhile all of Africa wilts into a spent condom
and the Republican Party head butts
every thing else non-white and moving in the Mojave Desert
When I die I will donate:
my dutch pot to the Smithsonian
and my brain to science
only then will any of us be certain
whether we died from playing
America’s favorite past time
Or simply from watching the game
Brad Walrond is a poet, author, activist, and mixed-media performance artist born in Brooklyn, New York to first generation Caribbean parents from Barbados. Brad received his MA in Political Science from Columbia University and his poetry has been published in the New York Times, African Voices, Moko Magazine, and Eleven Eleven. His first collection of prose and poems every where alien will be published on Moore Black Press. Follow him on Instagram @bradwalrond.