Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Postcard from Hell

Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Postcard from Hell

Article excerpt

For Etheridge Knight

A spoonful of death bubbling, spiked:

knotted syringe, blood walls push back

as it flows: nodding like fall flowers.

On a Retreat corner is man smeared

with oil and grease-open air garage

between debris of warehouse fire

and boarded house. Hooded boys hang

near, evading cops. At Francis, is

Ay Jay Deli & Store. Ma & Pa on jet

for family in Korea. Her sister behind

hard plastic, now. Folks say why don't

they hire since she can't speak English.

People search for work, travel all over

the compass of our global world. One

kid lives in a single family home.

That one in third floor apartment, two

rooms, five sleep on roaches-chicken

box babies & TV. Last week the church

tore down two buildings for a parking lot.

Deacons don't live on these hard streets.

Near the next xorner a garage of Garveyites

from Kingston. Next, laundry workers lean

in blue uniforms: grandmothers see through

stones of July heat: wring hands, hush a cry.

[Author Affiliation]

Rudolph Lewis (born 1948 in Baltimore, Maryland) was raised by his grandparents William and Ella Lewis of Jarratt, Virginia in the Village of Jerusalem. He attended Creath, No. 5 (a oneroom, one-teacher school) and later graduated from the all-black Central High (Sussex). In 1965 he left home to attend Morgan State College. After hearing in 1967 Stokely Carmichael, Walter Lively, and Bob Moore speak in 1967 on Black responsibility and leadership, he left Morgan "to join the revolution."

He spent several years (beginning1969) as an organizer for Local 1199 (Health Care Workers Union), married in 1972 to Evelyn Duncan, and divorced her in 1976. …

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