Never, ever allow the histories
to drain the color from this moment. Stand
there, garbed in a suit from Indochine. Stand,
sir, while men of similar hues confer

and shrug, confer and shrug, tortoises and
dodo birds, jolly caucus race. Black folk
told you, Sydette says, and we can only
marvel that anyone could truly say

different. You stand there, sir, my lord, good king,
and we shall await your pleasure, cameras
in hand. In hands intent on holding those
few shreds of the flag we could gather. Stand.

It is the portraiture of darkness that
will lead us again toward some grey dawn.

1 thought on “106.”

  1. I really like this one, J-P. I had to look up Sydette and I’m still not sure I get the reference, though it seems oracular. What I most appreciate is the playing off of groups –– the “jolly caucus race” versus the rest of us; the monotonal, caucasian, blithely cruel ones versus we who witness this repellent whiteness-which-is-darkness and who await the dawn; the way those “jolly” ones “stand” for their official portrait in faux majesty (and in doing so stand for nothing but image), versus we who “stand” to observe and record this travesty of America. This is all subjective of course but when a poem gets me going this way, I appreciate it.


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