Incendiary Art: The Body

p
o
e
m
s

I’ve nightmared your writhe, glum
fists punching their way out of your
own body, the blind stumble through
the buckled vein of your throat as
your nerve endings sputtered and blew.
I’ve dipped my finger into a vaporous
pool of your skin. The heat blessed
your whole new self with horizon,
square-jawed boy. With such potent
intent, you blared illicit and just enough
saint. Now, with so many northern
days between us, you are much easier
to God. But they are looking for you.
They are wildly sloshing fuel across
the landscape and they are screeching
your name. Today, one said I sure would
like to burn a black man alive
. So, yep,
you left us here with undulating acres
of fools and that particular stank leg
of gospel. You left us all this snuff,
hawk and proud little bowleg, you left
their brains stunned by dairy and fat
meat. You left us not much path, even
after your body was that brief beauteous
torch. They seem to remember you
fondly. And there are unstruck matches
everywhere.

Patricia Smithis the author of seven books of poetry, including Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, Blood Dazzler, and Incendiary Art.

You Might Also Enjoy

QB 468 .W 48x W5

Elizabeth Hoover

1 of 3 QB 468
.W48x
W5 Unknown possible utterances—unpublished non-commercial recording—open reel magnetic tape—1948-1980—1/4’’. . .

poems

the blue shared earth

Tyree Daye

when wildness & brown was hit by the car it hollered & spun the wild brown dog looked like a dust devil gathering wind. . .

poems

Clip-On Tie

David Berman

Relentlessly the minutes, some of them golden, touched.

—John Ashbery I had a real problem with time during. . .

stories

Further Reading

Heads Up: We recently updated our privacy policy to clarify how and why we collect personal data. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand this policy.