Where My Dreaming and My Loving Live: Poetry & the Body, Part VI: Un-lonely-ing the Inner Self

We been stuffing books in-between the shelves of our ribcage. America without    black death is:
White House          no Foundation
Ribcage                  no Spine
Jails                       no Overcrowding
Sunday                                no Easter Clothes
Music                    no Jazz
Blues                     no Rhythm
Chains                                  no Restraint
Babies                    no Coffins
Basketball               no Prophets
Criminal                no Conviction
Ngh u bttr tlk like water, cuz weed make u sound like syrup,
+ murder ain’t nvr needed nothg but a badge to call itself justice. As a child I would chew tiny bits of notepad pages. The Gathering of My Name, that Neon Vernacular
Ocean, Mahogany, Yusef, Cornelius, Claudia, Patricia, Aracelis, Etheridge, Evie, Nikki — consider the scent of names, given sanctuary up-out your chest cavity? Imagine Seibles’s Fast Animal is only one drop of blood mapped over an intimate sop of gauze + we are trying to read this palpable DNA? What a diaphragm of dialogue we carry in the dark of our disenfranchised. Brutal Imagination was an undiscovered burial ground, I Middle America’d in + how else would I learn I was thought so invisible I sleep within the fear of — his skin did it — just look at him, that book blk, with no need for a name. She dun seen a buck die right in front
her face, she
gonna marry a white man
that reminds her of daddy’s grace
without a dancing death sentence
kissing his ribs. Here is a space dedicated to un-lonely-ing the inner self. The best line in any poem is the one that paper cuts your gut. As if your favorite sentence line-broke its arm in the playground of your mind. Joy, be it so every Poets House is a hospital of the healing stanza. To articulate imagination is immunization of stagnant thought. We get busy with this breath of beehives. Each poem someone’s infirmary meant to hijack the hippocampus, reading “Amazing Grace” then hearing the body whisper its water through tear ducts built to detox the words left sweet in the life of — why call it a body of work if not to save the body of man?  
O, little breath of oblivion Or
How We Black Godiva
Over a bullet at a Traffic Stop? How she trust a black man now? Huh? ¤
Rico Frederick is a graphic designer and the author of the book Broken Calypsonian(Penmanship Books, 2014), Poets House Emerging Poets Fellow, Cave Canem Fellow, a MFA candidate at the Pratt Institute and the first poet to represent all four original New York City poetry venues at the National Poetry Slam. What is ignorance if not an infection of joy? Never be us marginalized, we say never more, never again. ¤ 
Enucleation or Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid
May books be the vaccination to cure all intolerance. What? APRIL 3, 2018

THE FOLLOWING IS one of six pieces by former Emerging Poets fellows at Poets House in New York City. Diaspora of toiled earth, unearth birth seen us now Olio in fashion, nude mouth, speak that unshackled creole don’t harass the intellect of a hornet’s nest. We be nature’s way of stitching God into the margins. Physical the psyche trying to become a lexicon of words worth etching onto collarbone, light as the language of birds, thousands of multicolored spines, stacked neat + heavy as fingers forming a fist. Black ink sweats knowledge from Papyrus pours. Something about the first name of these poets who helped me recognize my voice, Immigrant now Citizen, blk + above ground, West Indian anthology of joy. Fingers, Toes, Teeth + Bones
Toes have bones + intricate souls, now watch me walk on teeth-colored paper. These coffee-skinned fingers fractured in Freedom’s penmanship, elongated epigraphs, sitting on a talking shelf, hallway-long quarter mile of new journals to chapbook stacks at the back. Them is Different Hours
What you say to us now, the ones you called unread, uncivilized, un-understood, come run with a Panther & the Lash, the New Black, A Good Cry, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude built of Black Girl Magic. I had no intention of being such a scrabble board of emotions. After Jive Poetic
Chocolate melts
on hot lead, daughter
in the backseat watching papa ooze
outta breath till eyes genuflect
into mannequin. As a noun called man I have found a better place to store the taste of written wisdom. Each of the pieces engages with the Poetry Coalition’s 2018 initiative, “Where My Dreaming and My Loving Live: Poetry & the Body.” Poets House invited the fellows to select five items from the House’s 70,000-volume library that address the theme of the body, and to write a paragraph or two on each of these items.