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

They Make a Wall against Armegeddon

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

They Make a Wall against Armegeddon

Article excerpt

they was talk'n all night long

tell'n ole stories, evaporat'n

sweat. liquor. laugh.

painting the face of their mother

between them, gospel

crisp and old

all the action in a straightjacket

in that room, old brother cain,

old sin, the black work, shame,

reworked into art, strung story

history

my father and his brothers

men growing fat and tired

their walk becoming slow and certain

like the train long snake of freight

engine

inertia

bet you wouldn't know

when they was young

big fun

sometimes the eldest would get the car

and drive into town slow

whitewalls and paints creased

to pick up his date- a woman

so beautiful

you would swear

someone was crying in the distance

when you saw her or her shoulders

bare in the sun

life would mean something then

there was more to philosophy

than how to make it look like your sweat

was work and not the sun staring

down on your back

the hot grease of Georgia

could find itself on a brother's back

at any time muscle could explode

world could suddenly change

and you could afford to smile

anywhere, anytime

anyday, anything

can happen

you could get stung by a bee

or find yourself on the edge

of the road, cold, jacking

up the car, somebody could

ask you why in the cold, spotlight

why? …

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