Two Poems by Henry 7 Reneau Jr.

by Leslie Anne Mcilroy


Fast Black in Ferguson, MO

Fast Black Henry R.jpg

Fast Talking Man [excerpt]

after Anne Waldman

I’m the black Viet Cong digging tunnels in Amerikkka’s backyard
I’m the first man in, last man out, cold-cocked canary in Milk & Honeyland
I’m the last man standing black man
I’m the El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz man, Geronimo ji Jaga man
pro-black man
not a token black man
man    on    fire black man

black man never under thumb of white man’s God, says
turn the other cheek gets bitch-slapped twice, says
guns in black hands shooting ‘till the gun barrel’s red hot, says

I’m the Nat Turner black man, the Zebra Killer black man
black man play the dozens till God cries uncle

fire that infernos
fire that burn baby, burns
fire that blazes banks & Wall Street like Watts & South Central

black man only give up game when hell freezes over, says
black man turned the tables, says
black man with his eyes wide open in Amerikkka
& he blah! blah! woof-woof! one nation under the groove

black man combs out afro kinks wit bone-handled cake-cutter
black man remembers back in the day: Say it Loud!  I’m Black & I’m Proud!

black man says what he means & means what he says
    rather die standing than living on his knees                 

black man had a Jim Crow noose around his throat
was it yours? Says
he swears he’ll make you blazing effigy next time
     he’s righteous indignation black man, Malcolm X black man       

black man’s tongue ain’t never tied, rebukes in ten directions
one: I’m the black cat bone
two: I’m the mojo-workin’ man
three: I’m the axe-handle pistol on a graveyard frame
four: I’m the John the Conquer root
five: rusty lockjaw nails & gunpowder soup
six: I’m the consequence of cause & effect
seven: plus-justment times two
eight: I haunt you with songs risen from the bellies of slave ships
nine: I was the moan
     rippling stagnant water with skipping stones of illusive hope     
ten: I’m the aqua-boogie funkadelic man
     the feets-don’t-fail-me-now black man

descended from people who ran faster than Fugitive Laws, says
black is more than primetime TV news, rap video shows & daily headlines, says
free yo mind & yo ass will follow
black understands every word comin’ out the speaker                        

black man’s brain is 20   billion   calculations per second
black man’s tongue is clock-beautiful as logic                                          
but everywhere, the dark side of the sun, as I go

I’m the reflected-in-the-mirror man
I’m the spoken word slam
I’m the fountain of wisdom griot man
I’m the James Brown Big Payback man
I’m the clenched fist of conviction man
I’m the three-fifth enslaved man
the beaten, lynched & castrated black man
the jiggaboo       the coon       the nigger man
jook joint blues man
tryin’ to make a dollar outta’ fifteen cents, says

devil-mocracy doesn’t go down easy
        
everywhere suffering
    everywhere suffering, as I go         
                                                  

I’m the black man with double consciousness
I’m the black man with the assault rifles
I’m the black man with street smarts & a BA degree
I’m the get rich, or die tryin’ thug nigga’
I’m the stereotypical scapegoat of every racist pig

a biometric racial recognition that eeny-meeny-miney-moes

black man was the sum of African Diaspora parts    was the big picture
black man was making his way out of no way
sounds like the audacity of hope with no bootstraps someone said
(that someone wore a shiny white man suit, an Obama-bin-Bail-Out)
but he just ignored the sheep    made mute    in be patient . . . waiting
& went his militant   radical   pro-black way
 
black man took his civil rights from the WHITES ONLY herd mentality  
he had civil disobedience that persistent
how persistent?
that persistent!
& affinity for disobedience he was, says
a closed mouth don’t get fed he cried
a closed mouth don’t get fed
he was spontaneous combustion of revolutionary petunias, says
his stance (the one he carried on his head)
                                                        was the Alpha & the Omega


henry 7 reneau, jr. writes words in fire to wake the world ablaze: free verse illuminated by courage that empathizes with all the awful moments, launching a freight train warning that blazes from the heart, like a chambered bullet exploding inadvertently. His poetry collection, freedomland blues (Transcendent Zero Press, 2014), was released in September of 2014. He also has an e-chapbook, entitled physiography of the fittest (Kind of a Hurricane Press, 2014), which was released in December of 2014. now,      runantellyomamaboutdat!!