Bitter-Sweet Dreams of Harlem

I. Blue Eyed Sky


I’ve felt my world die

And I’ve seen the world resurrected

Reborn and rehashed

dumb, vibrant and laughing

Unaware of its insecurity

And insecure of its awareness


I’ve felt angel-headed hipsters

Breathe fire into my words

And felt betrayed

As their children stalked Harlem

Howling through my Negro city

Gentrifying for an artistic fix


I’ve seen beautiful blue-eyed radicals

Trying to Contemplate Black Mecca

And waiting for the moon

College educated contraband;

Hob knobbing with the hobos

As if they Jazz June


Now I see

Gorgeous Green eyed gentry

Thrift store jeans,

Imposed poverty facades,

And white-washed technicolor dreams

Of Harlem.


And I’ve watched their

Unsatisfying, subversive

Yet seductive

Imitations of

Lenox Avenue

Leave me breathless

Addicted to literary white girls

Reading Malcolm

With no justification for belief



Feigning for subculture,

And subtext filled dreams

Lusting for open minded intercourse

With unprotected themes

I find my self destroyed by madness




Black like the night is Black

Quixotically striking striaght

and singing sin

II. Black Mecca


In my dreams there was Jazz.

Jive talking Harlemites

In Zoot-suites with trumpets blaring

Be-bop for beaten souls

Scat, erratic organic rhythms

Black folk

Danced at rent parties

With free flowing chaotic beats



In bustling, black Manhattan;

The legacy of Langston Hughes;

Laureate of Harlem,

And of Black, Literary Visionaries

Sat composing Odes

To Black Mecca

Subtle songs for ebony bodies

And roll calls for shackled minds


III. Miscegenation



Harlem was poetry in tenements

And the unbound expressions

Of my self-defined existence

Harlem was never a place

It is my state of mind


And so,

I’m Alone in my counter-culture

Black Bereted,

With hallowed eyes,

Sitting on south side street corners,

Smoking Africa laced dreams

Contemplating Black Mecca

And Waiting for the sun to rise


Dejected by my infidelity

And shouting to a starry eyed Dynamo

In that waning blue eyed sky

I’m Asking:


Where are my kindred souls?

Black skinned and hallowed eyed

Contemplating Black Mecca

Waiting for sons to rise.


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