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Preview #6, Journal of Pan African Studies, Poetry Issue

Preview #6, Journal of Pan African Studies, Poetry Issue



Preview #6, Journal of Pan African Studies, Poetry Issue



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kalamu ya salaam, New Orleans LA


IF YOU'RE STILL THE SAME AFTERWARDS

IT WASN'T LOVE

(to nia, thanx for making me better)

to say

"i am touched

by you"

is to be

changed

into

a person neither of us

was before

entering the other

more open, a sun of sensitivity

emotionally nude, erupting joy

& willing to kiss life open mouthed

emoting the vibrancy of glow

endemic to souls in the flow

in fact, it's even unscientific

not to evol

ve/not to love, not to

grow & give back

the only humans who actually evolve

are lovers

all others

just simply fuck and reproduce

the transformation

of touch

that's all

love is

—kalamu ya salaam


Kalamu ya salaam is one of the founders of Black Arts Movement South. A prolific author, poet, essayist, historian, journalist, teacher, he resides in New Orleans, facilitates a list-serve for
writers.



Louis Reyes Rivera, Brooklyn, New York





I care about

whichever word


I care about whichever word

is used like grass

or turned to twist

& make a victim look like killer

or heard to sing like daybreak

smelling...

An octorose of warmth

blending

into

nightshed

deep

a dance of waves

the sun weaves in

an intricate of light

of gentle ripples

warmly dancing

weaving waves

of shadelit haze

like the sea ebbing into shore.

Even in the repetition

a word

means just as much to me

as morning's mist to dawn

the ease with which

night

moves

out

for daylight rays

like the quick shot from a gun

or loosely lipping attitude

that can just as easily

grit

or

grin

or smile right back

in hard soft sounds

like a kitten's tender touch

a curious tiny paw wanting

but to be believed.

I like the word, determination,

a Black child learning how to read

the wonder of a family intact,

a puertorrican

grasping & digging

into our own past... becoming Borinqueño

studying Betances

Belvis

Pachin Marin

listening to Malcolm

hard

intent

& full of care

concern

in a loving nudge of words

penetrating

deep inside the heart of thought

with Yes! Of course!

We got no choice

but grow!

& Be!

& Stand Up, Child...

Come & Change this world

with strength & perseverance

Come & Grace this Earth

with your own sense longing

like the octorose of warmth

u

n

f

o

l

d

i

n

g

winglike petals unto dawn

to soar, Yes, flying!

I like to hear Rashidah speak

I like to watch Zizwe's walk

the happenstance of Sekou's song

the lilting lyric in Safiya's sway

(& in case you do not know,

have never heard or watched them work:

Rashidah is an Ismaili,

a misspelled word

from the ink of census takers

conquering her land;

Zizwe, a child returned

from whence once stole,

Ngafua now an African at war;

Sekou but a blue lake

reclaiming lineage to Sundiata

undercoat guerilla born;

Safiya, black pearl caught

in the devil's hand

way back when Hendersons,

cut loose from prison cells,

sailed across atlantic gates

to rape the earth into a world

where poets have no chance.)

Despite it all, they sing & work,

they write & read,

they care,

get drunk

or pray,

while few will publish them their due,

fewer still will plant their books

into your hands,

your own calluses of soil

digging

deep

into

self

gripping all their pages,

holding them as dearly as you would

an octorose of warmth.

& yes

I like the word of action true

the sound of gunfire busting through

the doors

that hold back freedom blue

given

how

our own young Blackfolk

get cornered into hating what to do like Larry Davis

cracking through

the wall of crack

that would diffuse

whatever life a child could cling to/

cornered

in a vacuum of tenements jammed in despair

surrounded by a dozen cops

a dozen watchful dogs

hunting those who break

the must

& misty stink of deprivation

surrounded by a dozen cops

alone

except for rifle

shotgun

millimeter

automatic in his hand

bursting through the door

this five foot four

Davis, Larry

hurls across a rooftop

shooting

wounding

striking out against

this hateful passion

cold city bred

escaping into freedom's scent

like the octorose of warmth

s

p

r

e

a

d

i

n

g

w i d e its span of wings

& soaring, Yes,

soaring high & bleeding from the heart

of nothing

wanting

something

in the anywake

of every word

struggling for the worth of hope that comes at dawn.

--Louis Reyes Rivera


Louis Reyes Rivera

Known as the Janitor of History, poet/essayist Louis Reyes Rivera has been s

tudying his craft since 1960 and teaching it since 1969. The recipient of over 20 awards, he has assisted in the publication of well over 200 books,
including John Oliver Killens' Great Black Russian, Adal Maldonado's Portraits of the Puerto Rican Experience, Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam, The Bandana Republic, and his own award-winning Scattered Scripture.
Considered a necessary bridge between the African and Latino American
communities, Rivera has taught Pan-African, African-American, Caribbean
and Puerto Rican literature and history in colleges and in community centers. Currently, he conducts a Writers Workshop at Sistas' Place, in Brooklyn, and continues to work with Jazz bands, including Ahmed Abdullah's Diaspora. He can be heard every Thursday on WBAI (99.5 FM; streamed at www.wbai.org), hosting the weekly talk show, Perspective
.




Phavia Kujichagulia, Oakland CA






YO YO YO:

AUSTRALOPITHECUS AFRENSIS


yo…yo…yo…in case you didn’t know

I’m a woman, a mother, dred daughta, soul lover

sweet solid chocolate rock of Jah womanhood

money in the bank, soul sistah

knock on wood it’s all good

after the years of tears

the fears…the lies

the cries

somebody better recognize

(somebody better recognize)

duck and dodge, comin’ up like God

sistahs surviving the odds

so drop the sexist hype

stop the stereotypes

cause I’m an ebony Goddess

Queen mother doing it right

you’ve got to fight to survive

the things you see on t.v.

you can believe in the media hype

or you can believe in me

cause if you believe

I’m just a physical thing

then you’ll never see

the spiritual power that I bring

believe I’m the Eve to the Garden of Eden

know that I’m the virgin that gave birth to Jesus

Australopithecus Afrensis

since 3.5 million B.C.E.

everybody on the planet had to come through me

from the Olduvia Gorge human life was born

from the thighs of momma Africa’s

Great Rift Valley

so take a tally, take notes

whatever it takes to rock your boat

but just know

that I’m the Eve to the Garden of Eden

know

that I’m the virgin that gave birth to Jesus

I’m the first … I’m the last

I’m the present to your past

Sumerian princess from Kemet’s Nile

Babylonian, Dravidian, Olmec child

ire daughta gave birth to one human race

that’s what you see upon I & I face

though the media tries to disguise my fame

I’m the mother of justice

Ma’at is my name

so no more blame

no more shame

no more pain

no more games

yo…yo…yo…in case you didn’t know

I’m a woman, a mother, dred daughta, soul lover

sweet solid chocolate rock of Jah womanhood

money in the bank, soul sistah

knock on wood it’s all good

after the years of tears

the fears…the lies

the cries

somebody better recognize

(somebody better recognize)

duck and dodge, comin’ up like God

sistahs surviving the odds

so drop the sexist hype

stop the stereotypes

cause I’m an ebony Goddess

Queen mother comin’ up right

you’ve got to fight to survive

the things you see on t.v.

you can believe in the media hype

or you can believe in me

cause if you believe I’m just a physical thing

then you’ll never see the spiritual power that I bring

I said… if you believe I’m just a physical thing

then you’ll never see the spiritual power that I bring

yo…yo…yo…

just thought you ought to know

--Phavia Kujichagulia

Phavia is a well loved poet, griot, musician, dancer, historian in the Bay
Area.She stole the show at the Kings and Queens of Black Consciousness
concert at San Francisco State University, produced by Marvin X, April
1, 2001. As we speak, she is releasing a book on racism and white
supremacy


Deadline for submissions to Journal of Pan African Studies, Poetry Issue, October 15. Send poetry to: jmarvinx@yahoo.com, include brief bio and pic.
--Guest Editor, Marvin X

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