Thursday, May 28, 2009

de mayor of harlem, still

de mayor of harlem, still
for david henderson
u are still de mayor of harlem; the
world echoes in yr lush voice still
haunt harlem’s streets in the
darkest part of shadow, where the
source of light is completely
concealed. u are the occulting body,
the go-between
& translator for
who prowl urban mindscapes
hungry & the intrepid few who want
to know about them. because u
know, have lively lived thru’

america’s permutations, those
sequences wherein human events
occur at best once, from new york
to berkeley, u can interpret for
those who have no vision outside
of center or those whose hyperopia
prevents them from
seeing anything
up close &
u still speak the language of the
moment & line the cages of yr
verse with it. u still point to the
light with yr sharp-pointed lifegiving
shock poems or those with the
dazzling waves & curls & cutbacks

of walter payton sweetness that
generate powerful momentum,

that upon reading make us glow/
grow, incandescent testimonies

against a dark present.

Joseph McNair; 2009

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