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National African American History Month, Day 23: Black Snake Visitation by Nathaniel Mackey

by on February 23, 2013
 

-hendrix poem-

A black tantric
snake I dream
two days to the

morning I die
slipping up
thru my throat,

slithers out
like the vomit I’ll
be choked by

can’t, gigantic
seven-headed
snake, sticks out

one head at a
time. Must
be this hiss my

guitar’s been
rehearsing
sits me down by

where the salt
water crosses the
sweet. Self-

searching twitch,
the scrawny
lights of its

carriage, broken
sealit stark-
ness, furtive

sea of regrets.
But not re-
deuced by what

I knew would not
matter, woke
to see no one

caress the arisen
wonder’s dreamt-of
thigh. Death

enters a slack
circle whispering,
slapping hands,

beauty baited
like a hook, hurt
muse at whose

feet whatever
fruit I’d give goes
abruptly bad.

Must be this
his my
guitar’s

been rehearsing,
lizardquick
tongues like

they were
licking the sky.

Must be this
hiss my
guitar’s been

rehearsing, these
lizardquick tongues
like they

were licking
the sky.

Down on my
knees testing
notes with

my teeth, always
knew a day’d
come I’d

put my wings out
and fly.

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