DANNY SIMMONS

The brown beatnik tomes

I dreamed I saw Bob Dylan paying homage to an effigy of LeRoi Jones on
burning Newark
Streets rattling a necklace of harmonicas at passengers on slave ships
roaring
Down the streets of history buck dancing for loose change selling lines
of poems for pittance sake.
I can’t take my eyes off the parade of long negro girls who’ve walked oceans
barefoot, whales swimming between their toes / my name on hers and
hers and hers angel lips/ I swoon for them muttering their lost Nubian
names.
I imagine them browner than America’s sun can offer/ I imagine them
musing for me
The lost arts of burnt bronze women that carry candles for hope’s sake/
that have carried me this far to the feet of poetry. Allen Ginsberg
cruising Baldwin in the romance of east village beat nights.
I am fixated on those brown girls singing the gospel of my patron saint
lovers illusion…the weary days that wrestle and pin me down to the mat
of poet’s angst and heroin’s romantic memory as she pulls
Deep the burning illumination of strong reefer and in that instant
our eyes unlock the doors of ragged cabs ferrying to Brooklyn and the
St. Albans of my bartered youth. I have felt myself strange even then
and have hidden away well my fear of belonging to this earthly mud.
Here I escape into you and the wailing symbols you have written on my
walls…here I rail into my longest pitch night/
The bells tolling Rhythm and blues from distant shores.

[BIO]: Danny is a painter, founder of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, and co-creator of Def Poetry Jam.

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