Monday, June 15, 2009

for nikki giovanni (27)

turning remembrances to elegy
for nikki giovanni
the black aesthetic’s freshest female voice,
a “wealthy” nikki-rosa took her place
among the shooting stars, then voiced her choice

for love; an active witness for her race.
her angry bullet poems were put to bed;
her bardic voice emerged to taunt & tease

in monologues or stanzas often read

with pauses for unspoken thoughts -- to please

by slipping off her lyric gown to bare

her naked verse, vulva soft or nipple hard;

a poet all alone & fool to care.

today she pulls her lonely close. regard

the way she lonely writes her sober truth
so wisdom distant from her ruddy youth.

©Joseph McNair; 2009


  1. From my understanding of this poem nikki-rose is a black woman who sing. I real like this poem i like how you compare nikki-rose voice with a gown. Very Creative!

  2. I watched Nikki grow from a somewhat naive militant rapper to a poet of substance. There is a quality of loneliness in her work. You have captured her well.

  3. great poem to honor the memory of a great poet, her poems are filled with the content of day to day life.

  4. You nailed it brotha!