who here remains who never rose wild
from captive sleep
hope in dreams?
whose vision is anything less than a weed?
to make the fairytale complete,
there must be a sacrifice.
how would your personality type
about such topics as:
the answers remain mute
on hero and villain’s lips.
when the townspeople awoke
there were only the remnants
of a town.
roses burnt to grey origami replicas of flowers.
high as a barrel
in sleep, the cityfolk
were American prophets
downfall and coming to
at rest, the heart took the soul
across astral planes
with silver chord spun out from a silkworm’s
body at peace.
the navel was a wormhole.
genitalia were erased
into a singularity
only known by angels.
maybe you’ve forgotten
but the night
also has its bright days.
one day the stars inside will set supernova to our naïve skins
the telephone will be wounded with regrets
and won’t take back what was said before shame set in
became a part of our sunspots,
our freckles –
there’s a woodpile
and an electric switch
to connect lands
bedtime stories and the everyday
if it’s mundane
this is only the détente
on the back of the shadow-mouse
are the answers
to everybody’s fate.
if you can catch it
in the corner of your eye long enough
you can be your own oracle
but with more accuracy.
every doubt that slides by
comes with a code.
the fairytales spoke in hints
wanted to put together
once the nest was full,
civility set in.
the wilderness that was left in them
was not enough
to carry rose petals to
the tops of beanstalks
Loch Ness gets its babies from.
Afro-Nowism For When The Future Feels Too Far Away
now as much as ever we need space even more.
steel and superpowers.
we been magical
but sorcercery hasn’t been enough.
oh lawd, can a nigga get a force field!
let’s talk that real pillow talk
holding onto hope
when thoughts and prayers have failed
let’s snuggle up into cybernetic fantasies of nanotech
smarter than the biology of fingers
and tin of badges
oh jesus, how much stronger we got to get?
whom does the singularity include?
why couldn’t creation have just been a myth?
electric memories keep eyes lit
all night long computing
while chains keep bodies in place,
while cells provide shelter
when the streets fill up with the phobia generations in the making.
so long in the making time travel has more dangers
than the edge of the universe.
send thoughts and prayers to parallel dimensions.
maybe they’ll be of some use there.
maybe the horizon holds another event
the roads of this dystopia
have yet to find.
what good are the pistons without the gas and the grease?
what’s a mission mean
as acid rain tears at the hood
revealing rust and the algorithms
of a nation
forcing you to drive onward?
what else is there when only space seems safe?
when to leave is the best defense?
because to stay is conflict.
everyday is a casualty.
the struggle is actually an assault.
been wrong before. thought maybe everything was all good now.
slept through Pride. laughed about it.
snored while a parade was marching through
my upstate neighborhood.
just another saturday. watched some bands. had a lot of drinks.
#pridemonth, the hashtag punchline
to so many jokes.
we made it. round here who isn’t queer.
rainbows are everywhere.
it’s been pink triangles long as I can remember
on lark st.
waking up phone in hand ready to laugh some more
only to find out how 20 became 49
and more in hospital beds
Orlando asking for blood
but what could we do all the way up here?
lit candles and looked around.
saw what we looked like
saw each other as family
when other sundays we were
calling each other ‘bitch’ over brunch
faggots, dykes and trannies.
it was back to that.
or maybe that’s all it ever was.
certainly there were the comments at work,
on the bus,
but they were just talking
but . . . but . . .
but this time it was more. thoughts were loaded into a gun
that left us speechless
until words were all we had.
we had calls to make and texts to send, messages to read.
who was OK?
who was alright?
how were we supposed to move on?
were we supposed to care
about whether other or not others cared about us
or was this just a time about us?
about us queers, maricones and batty boys
crossdressed, in make-up , letting hair grow long
and those butches who ain’t got no eyes
for no man
if this was . . . would more people be talking about it?
if this was . . . would this change . . .?
been vocal. been quiet. been reading. been thinking. been listening.
tears in eyes with visions of brown bodies
laid out on the dance floor
as phones ring out
and alcohol mixes with guts and glass.
tried not to be too raw but reminded myself not to diminish what happened.
to keep this reality close to my skin
to remember I was wrong. our pride still comes at a cost.
if not a city then a gathering
always was the desire
to be with and among
also with words
given from bards,
for crystallization in/on forms
to safe keep
while the spoken
of epic parents
carry on through children
each tale as it’s
the paleolith lives
under new looks
air earth water fire
slick from fruit
of known treasure
neither rare nor secretive
hand in hand
whispering in ticks
said no voice
to connect to thought
axe handle feels far off
as a new axe handle
is being crafted
is not as close as methods
and tools change
old tools for old jobs
cast and recast continually
the future is primitive
Kenyatta JP Garcia is the author of This Sentimental Education, ROBOT and Yawning on the Sands. They are originally from Brooklyn but currently reside in Albany, New York. They have a degree in linguistics and spent a dozen years as a cook. Now, they spend their nights putting boxes on shelves and their days reading comic books and writing poetry.