Sunday, February 28, 2010

kinkan ma’sẹ olori orite

for hrg olorí iya orite olasowo adefunmi

are queens born or made? is there a royal jelly, a
thick, creamy secretion to feed to a girl, like that fed
by the hive in copious amounts to one larval
honeybee? to modify its genome? to groom a
queen? what made sheila brown from pleasantville, new jersey
special? who opened the road? who sniffed out the shortest
route? who cleared away the obstructions that stood in the
way to eku odun oyotunji & the great
orisa vodou spiritual lineage she helped
to build? did this all unfold thru’ the exertions of
human will? nay, not fickle human will, but divine.
this queen was born, not made, her portion conferred by great
olódùmarè to lead his dear children along.

©Joseph McNair;2010

kinkan ma’sẹ nana

for ohemmaa nana boatenma

ye ko bisa aberewa, we come to consult
the wise woman, the one ordained by the gods to bring
into the world all that is good in the human race.
we come to see you, nana – nana boatenmaa.
u sit so fine & fair on the ohemmaa adwa,
the queen mother’s silver stool – u who might publicly
rebuke the king when he is mistaken, incite the
village even to war when audacity fails &
stout men quake in fear, or spread soothing words like an
unguent on heart wounds so that we, yr children, might heal;
that we might even forgive those who have treated us
unjustly. we come, nana, to behold yr luster,
the soft, subdued iridescence of yr great wisdom.

©Joseph McNair;2010

kinkan ma’sẹ yẹyẹ

for delma jackson rodriguez

queen mother delma, yr fierce passion power defines
abundance. when u received carida del cobre
like river water incorporates drops of honey
& aspirated prayer, u became an ambient
agent thru’ whom all blessings flow, particularly
those of oşun edẹ, who creates beauty, elegance
& grace & oşun ibu kolẹ, who transforms the
erotic into the motive force that stirs even
the òrìşa. u bring authentic aşe to the
ceremonies of the living. u place the beaded
crown on the genuine oba’s head, & u ensure
that issues of respect & justice toward women
are maintained. mojuba mother, yẹyẹ adupe!

© Joseph McNair; 2010

kinkan ma’sẹ adora

for adora obi nweze

first daughter of the people, heart/soul of yr father/
mother god, where would this community be without
u? more than efuru righting the wrongs visited
upon us, adjudicating justice, u have been
like nimu kwome, ibo goddess of creation,
our protection; like nnemuru ora, female
force extraordinaire, who provided for the needs of
her community. we are humbled, adora. we
stand quite in awe of the very least of your service.
u believed & therefore achieved, onye kwe chi ya
ekwe, our oboloko/adaogu, spirit
worker/warrior, we thank u! anyi n'ekele gi!

© Joseph McNair; 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

a perfect love (10)

a perfect love

if its not love, we can’t
take it when we go
john brooks

in matters of love, carnal & profane,
his whimsical heart did equivocate &
prophet/sigh; was prone to dazzling leaps of fate.
falling for common, golden-hearted ex-tarts,
conflicted, prurient missionary types
or the uncommon daughter of a lesser
god. but his heart in other matters of love,
was true, was pervaded by the perfect gift
of grace –- charity -- come from spirit, true to
spirit; a true heart overflowing with that
which must be given away -- a perfect love.

©Joseph McNair;2010

consider a bedraggled obatala (9)

consider a bedraggled obatala

& he did it all with just
a hundred pounds of clay…

elgin, dixon & roge

consider a bedraggled obatala
working off the sum of unpleasant effects
following a drunk to end all drunks. can you
imagine him shaping the heads & bodies
of his first children while trying to clear his
head? did he feel lost? or lacking in purpose?
imagine his surprise when his first few seemed
less than perfect, with flattened heads, almond eyes,
small ears & mouths, not at all ugly, but
different. & he resolved to make us all
less than perfect, that he might love us as much.

© Joseph McNair; 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

hooked (8)


"'re so kind & careful not to go to her too soon
& she takes your voice & leaves you howling at the moon."
bob dylan

it took just one time, just one penetration
& he was hooked; his mind gave him permission
to think about her as much as he wanted;
to go to any lengths to make it happen
again, to feel good again, to feel the sweet
tension in his muscles, in the skin pulled tight
around arteries opened wide enough to
let blood surge, to squeeze veins shut & trap the
blood inside his hugely swollen need to slide
piston-like thru the grip of lubricious walls,
beyond the point of no return…& explode

©Joseph McNair;2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

& i lost u (7)

& i lost u

i lost someone, my love
someone who's greater than the stars above
someone who I need
someone who don't let my heart bleed...
james brown

i have lost my way. my poor soul, an empty
abyss. love is an incomprehensible
mystery; my world, dimly sensed, is not much
more than a faint, disintegrating shadow.
i saw u, my love, transfigured, bathed in the
light of attraction. u whom i blithely picked
to love thru means unconscious & unknown.
i saw yr transcendence & shrank back; could not
stand the glory & majesty of u -- had
to bring u down to planes of tribal custom
where i might understand u… & I lost u.

©Joseph McNair;2010

those treacherous tender traps (6)

those treacherous tender traps

i don’t have to beg u to hold me
cause somebody else will...
yr good thing's gonna come to an end!

burdened by recapitulations & the
balancing of accounts, it seems so easy
to stay & dwell on a harvest of endings.
why don’t i just leave? u really don’t want me
anymore. rather than walk aimlessly thru
my days looking backwards, afraid to let go,
unable to disentangle myself from
painful recollections, i should follow up
on those notes deftly passed to me by yr friends,
those looks, touches or lingerie given as
invitations, those treacherous tender traps.

© Joseph McNair; 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

amour mortelle (5)

amour mortelle

i’ve been your slave ever since i’ve been your babe

but before i’ll be your dog, i’ll see you buried in your grave!
billie’s blues

“…& if i can’t have u, nobody else will!”
he had laughed in the wake of those chilling words,
whose echoes now rise in the steam ascending,
seperating from the blood oozing from his
mortal wound. she loved him, of that he had no
doubt; had culled him from a teeming psychic sea
to embrace, to cleave to, like a devotee
who craves self-surrender, a martyr giving
completely to a cause, a tragic woman
in utter sexual abandon. hell has
no better assassin than love’s lethal goad!

© Joseph McNair;2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

the coupling of sun & soil (4)

the coupling of sun & soil

i've got the sweetest hangover
i don't want to get over
mcleod & sawyer

the coupling of sun & soil is passion-framed;
is joyeous, dynamic & sometimes cruel.
the sun stretches forth his yearning arms, to hold
the earth -- like i hold u -- to undulantly
move, the two of them (the two of us) into
tumid living, flaccid dying; into the
slick, slipperysweet confection of love &
love’s creamy glamor, into the pain that hurts
so good, the release from the dramas of light.
to lay spent, wide open to the peace of night’s
cozy dark & a sky full of grinning stars

©Joseph McNair;2010

what is it that u see in him? (3)

what is it that u see in him

when the final act is over
& you're left standing all alone
when he takes his bow & makes his exit...
jerry butler

what is it that u see in him that u don’t
or won’t see in me? i am taller than him,
i look better than him & more than by half
i am smarter than him. yet he can make yr
nostrils flare, yr bubble butt bounce & make u
wear yr orgasm face for the world to see
u objectified, existing only to
sate his desires, reduced to having no thoughts,
feelings or needs of yr own. what is it that
u see in him & not in me? what jackpot?
pregnancy? std’s? infertility?

©Joseph McNair;2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

a very strange distress (2)

a very strange distress

a hendecasyllabic lament

that love, like god’s breath, cannot be easily
divined, or its meaning made plain; cannot be
scryed except in the crystallized substance of
those infinite interactions ‘tween lovers
who timorously, hopefully reach out or
indifferently withdraw, who exult/exalt
or hurt/debase, who cling possessively to
or dispassionately let go -- or who kill,
is well-known, oft forgotten, & remembered,
too late, in the wee hours of the morning,
& under thin, scratchy blankets of despair.

©Joseph McNair;2010

loving spirit (1)

loving spirit
for olori

every outward or perceptible grace,
every indication, reflective or
direct, of an unconscious purposiveness,
of consciousness & a dense, personal &
collective identity into which i
escape & into which i languish; to which
i return after sleep, fever or trance &
coruscate an ineffable unity
that can only make itself clumsily known
in the aggregate, molecular fabric
of my skin & in these big arms that hold u.

© Joseph McNair; 2010