Friday Sep 22

RonDavis Ron Davis is a poet and a Kentucky Al Smith Award winning visual artist living in Lexington. His artwork, under the moniker of “upfromsumdirt”, has been featured in New Southerner, Nat Creole Magazine, and on the covers of African American Review and various other book and cd covers. His digital collages have been in exhibition at Gallerie Soleil, The Loudon House (both in Lexington), and at the African American Art Exhibit at Louisville's Actors Theatre. He is co-founder, with short-story author Crystal Wilkinson, of Mythium Literary Journal (mythiumlitmag.com) where he serves as poetry editor and art director. Primarily, he blogs at upfromsumdirt.blogspot.com, but his time is equally wasted all over the internet and though he has posted many of his poems at various online sites and workshops, this is his first official literary publication.
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caul & response
 
 
1.
 
ephemeral voices float to me
in union, disembodied cadences
from the corners of the used
bookstore in which i work;
i wait here at the register,
the cashier for colluvial languages.
for 7.25 an hour i sell you the bind
off my back; my spine spent, tongue
bent into infinity shapes & adinkra
signs. i'm a shaman whose black
brogue is a dark spectrum speaking
of bantu knots standing atop
soapboxes.
 
2.
 
my anonymity is indivisible;
that's nothing but the Ile-Ifé in me,
like a gen x-george clinton-conqueroo
chasing chants. i'm member #325
of the Ky Poro Guild, a son of Eshu
in a store-clerk cloak. i've learned
that invisibility is advantageous when
there is blood in your brogue;
the liturgies etched in my canon
are decisively conclusive: achebe and
dandicat, soyinka, clifton, brooks and
reed; my inner-voice is well-read.
i was born to have voodoo doowop
through poetry where culturally
broken words chisel the facade, erode
the misperception that black culture,
in order to commune with nature, passes
every movement through concrete.
in the past, ghost-stories would engrave
slave-words into skin; but where snakes
shred themselves of scales, i’ve learned
to shed shrapnel. in dreams, Sweet Harriet
swings low,
carries me from rome.
 
 
3.
 
anyway, Orishas are origami
for crepuscule with college-rule;
newsprint folds into a paper crown
covering the Ori of this living orator.
language is as lawn-chair for the living
dead and southern pidjin is my grateful
Egun; black poems parade our ashes
in a natural state of ashé. like a Queen
Mother, Black Memory pulls a halo
from a 3rd world pelvis, so (by portent),
i indulge in a self-induced patina: the
policy stamping the null and the void
on every one-sided transaction where
all sales were said final; the merchandise
from trans-atlantic trades relinquished,
refurbished, refinished & returned home
(or wherever.)
 
 
 

blueprint for an african space station


welcome
to my Cult of Thutmose:
where black bodies split
and become of single breath;
ancient lovers with postmodern
analog in auras; we become
brass-age with glaciers of black skin.
this
is heritage.
 
...
 
in extrasensory science i orbit
you, a sensual satellite; stalagmites
in my voice; panther and mouse
in the chase until i catch you and
become as Anubis. i fetch you falling
a million miles from inner-space
my brown face a red giant
on the horizon, my oath to you a moist
mothership.
we are Thebes In The Night.
my inclusions crash at your feet;
my hubris a hybrid with debris licking
at your heels, digging into black digital
earth, cruising into the beautiful burn
bracing for impact - my brain-cells
shattering / anti-gray-matters embrace
the hyena-god’s head; a transmogrified
sound shifting shape. mind blown. mouth
agape.
 
...
 
i’m such the lascivious man. been so
since Olodumare told monkeys to
walk up straight. language congeals
around skin, accepts gravity, becomes
ink and glyphs with ligatures sinking...
is this alkebulan? or kaleidoscope?
contents scatter
upon impact; reprising
rainbows / leaking new
gods from the umbra. from
stellar bedrooms a budget plan
is grown...
 
...
 
and after the backstage pass,
dehydrated acts sparkle on thighs
rate gyro assemblies remain functional
as we face frustum and saturn returns.
this is sigh-fi in the flesh;
not lascivious.
luxuriant.
a billion stars are probed,
a trillion planets explored, many
comets mapped, dark matter disrobed,
blackholes / our space stations built
atop perturbation theories, Octavia’s
ashes replace Orion’s belt, and yet
there is still much debris
to sift through / Keplerian ellipses
for us to drift into and all the while:
Our Hands.
what else
is needed?
 
 
 

kentucky arcane


i know spells to turn the solid breath and 4 syllables into a syringe.
dont cringe, its only voice. dont fear, i’m a shaman. my palms
are up and my hands are clean, but underneath the nails is another
story; shit, it aint like i asked you to look. i am figment of skin,
the pigment of imagination. i pick a peck of pixels turning long lost
steles into stick-action-figures for the gods. i’m the son of shango
and simone, sunra and mahalia; my fictional mama is a wicked witch
woman with every inch of her titties spilling over into church sermon.
“sistacoldsweat” was her screen name talk’n shit to neighbors through
meshed-in back-porches. but my birth mama is a saint, woes be to the
dead man to fix his mouth wrong stirring up shit; my short-story mama
is a nativity scene in stilettos, but talk about my birth mama and im not
a righteous man; i eat white bread; there is a cup of sugar in my koolaid
and my diabetes is to die for. when not asleep at the wheel, i can feel
death's head in my shadow laughin & a-laughin. but death can kiss my
fat ass; I’m full of bliss, even if reality is reneged on in all my poems.