Amaud Jamaul Johnson

CLARENCE MUSE STARS AS THE MAGICAL NEGRO
IN FRANCES FORD COPPOLA'S THE BLACK STALLION (1979)

Since the story begins with sugar,
the dark and muscular storm
of a horse, and its epicurean propensity
for sweets, who could be surprised
when you emerged from the mist—
your hair, the cotton-white smoke
of hellfire, that toothless, tangerine
gummed click, click to move your buggy
along this Lexington back alley,
this dirt road River Styx.

I think we were meant to love you;
just as the boy, who should not have
lived, keeps roping his noodle arms
at the base of the neck of The Black.
Yes, there’s prayer and ship fire,
the long sequence of trust in the burning
sands, that gallop like a locomotive
strumming a harp. The Black. The Black.
And my oldest son, for once, silent
in our basement’s sixty-watt gloom.





SENEGAMBIAN CARNIVAL

Enter the sidesplitter,
           & the new further adventures

of Dollar Bill. The plum, plumed
           sunset, a spiraling starburst of black

& tan, a begloomed bouquet of legs,
           like sectioned breadfruit, the color

of crushed star anise. Straight from speck
                      to spectacle, from buckskin to mink

& black sable, this hackneyed honey.
           Gaslit, murksome. Epidermic & episodic,

the curtain, a velvet maidenhead, a velum
           of smoke, the midmost membrane between

           this body & brain.

 

 

 

- - - - - -

 

Amaud Jamaul Johnson is the author of Red Summer (Tupelo 2006), winner of The Dorset Prize. A former Stegner Fellow at Stanford and member of Cave Canem, his work has appeared in The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Quarterly West, VQR and Indiana Review. He teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Home
AboutSubmitArchivesStaffLinksIndex

 

 

Bookmark and Share          Top  
Copyright 2011 © Eleven Eleven | Contact Eleven Eleven

 

Bookmark and Share