B-Sides from my Idol Tryouts

1. Just like in true life

The wild geese approaching treason, now federated along one keep

May we find a rafter


2. I like the way you don't
go into the cabin
That is how I like it: methodically, mythically, my accidents are protests,
are my only protests, they are never accidents


3. We even misprism the past
Turn our waltz on the face of another
To turn on
To turn against
Opposite statements that express the same, sometimes, or binary like the lines:
Man is something to be overcome, what you you done to overcome him
or
Just how far can you push the heroic guy to being evil
and how far can you push the villain to being somebody you can
care about

or
Floodtide beneath you, I see you face to face

4. Check out your mind
Masquerading with dawn
It was invented by the press
Press harder (press not push)
The bell, the liquor, the deck of card crisp hardships surfacing as clovers and nights at his club getting low, if they ask you to sell them, don't
On the Corner, (side 1) try
Thinking of one thing and doing another


4. Repeat: But we are
Only getting rich in order to repeat these trips

 

5. But we are getting rich in order...
So neither group can be understood except in relation to the other
as in/
as out/
as excuses for true stories—

It's just that his passion costumes his thoughts,
not just his past
Not just a fat vacation Sunday
Also an emaciated smoke break
Also broken into images of smoke,

the way smoke moves
From tobacco
or factory chimney
your mouth
your vandalised memory
in order
to get rich
Someone has to work there and believe it into disappearance

 

6. Wealth: I am farmers/I am a thief.
Fame money/anonymous fame/factory farmed/black thief/by black I mean/
Buy black I mean
We are what sells
Thinking to ourselves:
Something in me wishes this wasn't my poem—
That emotion is glory or—
still?

7. Compliments: The only one I want is (the) speechless/
ness, (he) nestled in me bold and hip like a broken risk


8. Peaty Greene, Casius X (who's that) Jack Johnson, Blind Tom Wiggans, Bama the Village Poet, Gregor Samson, Fred Hampton, Josephine Baker, Lester Young, will you give up your death for me? Teach me why I am a destiny

9. If you think about me, and you ain't gonna do no revolutionary act, forget about me, I don't want myself on your mind

10. Anyway, innocence. Man is something to be overcome, what have you done to overcome him. Digitally pacing the stage as his future and his past, a full body holograph of Tupac Shakur. But then when he got shot no bitches came out, no music, nothin'. Just some critics' unphased mumblings: man you were marvelous but your co-star the gun was a bit over the top

11. Rehearsal for God Bless the Child.
I wanna get it right
Let's start with 'rich relations'

Green sides of goldsides
I immediately had to get a drum instructor a trumpet teacher and a sword twirling coach. Get your silence together. Hope is final

12. Super soul/supra soul/hip hop's egoless self-agrandisement is the next
toll/phase on the free/way, high/way, autoroute, or space between proof and privacy in loose weather

13.The man you love is walking home in Hollywood. 5 or 6 police cars come up, about 8 cops around. You fit the description, you always fit the description, you fit the description of a robbery in the area. A black guy, wearing jeans, 5'8," the whole thing


14. He had dreams of really hitting it big with his stereo store
He'd play samples of Caetano Veloso singing 9 out of ten movie stars make me cry, I'm alive!, or— One thing leads to another, but the kid is not my son or god bless the child that's got his own

More by Harmony Holiday

Motown Philly Back Again

We're all pagans and shamans and clap your hands now we won't stop the beat

We believe in divine healing and we hate to see that evening sun go down

We know when the sight of our women dressed in white each ritual night, is touching, hypnotizes

The animals blush and split for us as revival, as revealed to themselves

These are triumphant women.

Even Sister Fame hiding out in the alley turning tricks and singing verses from the undid scripture, is touching

Thank you jesus, thank you jesus, that you jesus, baby, is that you, she mutters up high between rocks and lacehis eagerness— it was all night long

Sometimes he'd interrupt a recording session to tell us about his early Motown days or expand on his views of Heaven and Hell

One time he was saying how important it was to love one's father.

Do you love yours? I asked him

Why don't you tell him

Why don't you tell your father, he said

I will if you do

You go first


About this poem:
"'Motown Philly Back Again' is a meditation on some of the myths and legends that pervade the recording industry. It includes some catachresis between Marvin Gaye and myself that helps me explore some nuances of paternity as I've experienced it within the context of black culture. The many hyperlinks embedded in the text explicate more of the associative registers of the poem, which is part of a larger series of meditations on crossings between rituals of worship/devotion, rituals of violence, and rituals of entertainment as they converge and diverge in the role of the arts in the lives of black Americans and also all Americans. That series is called 'Great Day in the Morning' and will be available as a chapbook this year."

Harmony Holiday

Microwave Popcorn

I think a lot of y’all have just been watching Dr. King get beat
    up and, ah

                      vacillating opportunists straining for a note of
    militancy     and ah   

Hold your great buildings on my tiny wing      or     in my tiny  
    palm      same thing different sling   

and then they shot him   and     uh               left him on the front
    lawn  of everyone’s    vulgar  delirium  
for          having been chosen       walking home that night
     that’ll show you like    candy     and   love  
god     openly          reverse   order         

A bird gets along beautifully in the air, but once she is on the
    ground that special equipment hampers her a great deal.   


         And               Thereby home never gets to be a jaded
             resting place.