bible belted: math

- 1964-

Pro-Black doesn’t mean anti-anything.

            El Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X)


there are at least twenty-seven
white people i love. i counted.

four from high school, five from
undergraduate years, maybe

three from grad school
(one gay=bonus points) &

an assortment of compelling
melanin-deprived miscreants

in chicago & countrywide.
two brothas in the afterlife

remain why i add rather than

More by Quraysh Ali Lansana

bible belted: history

okie white men

are a curious herd

never sure if cowboy

or cracker  skin coated

in dust from 1830 or 1921 

hard to tell  they grow

whiter with age

klan march

perhaps in a sincere gesture of protest
the managing editor decided it best
i welcome the grand imperial wizard
to channel nine, guide him back to
the senior producer’s glass cube
where he would proceed to engage
in heated words with the general
manager, whose robe hung upstairs
on the executive suite door. neither
of us offered our hands. staffers gathered
around me at the desk for a better view
of the meeting, questioned the cause
for vein pop and venom bleed
through office walls, summer sun
redefining our faces.

crack house


she hustles us in
eyes tired

shadows stutter
behind nervous trees


outer room

screen door grime
a porous portal

paneling drips
frantic carpet


living room

up early  ricki lake
an endless loop

tv’s wide blue mouth
the only thing moving



she fast food  she
buy one  get one free



parched bones
silently akimbo 

peel of burn
gray of skin

he sizzles