First, above all, I live forever. And thereafter redecorate paradise in the majesty of the Roof Nightclub, DJ Lucifer, at predawn hours terrifies the floorboards to give way to Apollyon’s abyss, reflecting scarred light on the wall. The mirror alive with tremors. Herons bring news of consolation. I rebuke them for my brilliance and enrich uranium in my cove across Navy Island. The hospital vanishes in the fog, so I arrange rain to restore magenta ginger lilies where my mother walked to born me. Malignant fireflies at Christmas; sorrel then sorrow, such is Kingston, there funky carols seethe asphalt with famine. Forever ends. Never a moment holds ‘still-here,’ when sand murmurs through my fingers. I number and chant down stars, ellipsoidal as fire ants with, “I think I will be killed once I die!” and again return the Super Ape, to conquer the Roof Club, rip off Apollyon’s hell fence; skin him; dance thundering subatomic dub music, until my rage yields settled coral. A million embers of eyes split from coals to see me loom out the shadows’ sunray by the turntable wearing a splash crown.
Copyright © 2018 by Ishion Hutchinson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on May 9, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“Jamaican dub music creates and destroys an aesthetic of nobility. It respects no other system but the sound system. Pure intimacy is its core, though, an intimacy that turns chaos into joy: ‘forget your sorrow and dance.’ So, we do.”
Ishion Hutchinson was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica. He is the author of House of Lords and Commons (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016).
Date Published: 2018-05-09
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/roof-nightclub