"[I Poet, Therefore I Am]..." "Anger is fluid like water is fluid like fire is fluid like Rage," and "[Of Icarus Sewn Into Air]..."

[I Poet , Therefore I Am] [As If Emily Dickinson
Looked God in The Eye and Told Him to Go Fuck Himself]
A femme grenade is an explosion waiting to happen.
I was eventually awakened to realize that poetry , like Black folk

, is the conscience of the Nation . Are words that have to bruise
  our modified convictions before we get mad , before we are
  changed for the better . In the 80s and 90s I temporarily went off

  the rails , a sabbatical to a seductive euphoria . My albatross
  deadweight of anger , trainwreck shame and regret , exploded a bridge
  that crashed into the bottomless depression of my drug-stupored flight

  to avoid compliance . Most great poets , in trying to find the seams
  in the sociopathic bunny suit , have actually been somewhere
, experienced something to write home about . Even Emily

vacationed in exotic locales of introspection . Her work revealed her
obsessions , whether she was conscious of them or not
. The inner roar that is the other side of silence and grace—the

  glass shard knife of eccentricity and the bioluminescent full moon
  gravity of solitary contemplation . Revelation was
  a wild card hidden up my sleeve , traversing the no-man’s-land of do’s

  and don’ts . I learned I would have to fall down , before I fought back
. Every Black poet’s work illuminates , imbues
  a wolf-howled dissent and vindictiveness the color of +’justments

. Poetry , like wonder , until the world is deaf with the miraculous—
  how big the eyes become in awe . Only wild horses could run faster .



Anger is fluid like water is fluid like fire is fluid like Rage

Why does the brain live for 10 minutes after the heart dies
, a cerulean cloudlessness, so blue , it’s mistaken for ascension 
? The average adult human brain weighs about 3 pounds

, is a synaptic electrochemical perspective , amazed
  as we encounter the wonder and awe of the Afterlife . A soul

  weighs in at a whopping ephemeral ascension of 21.3 grams
. A gallon of water weighs 8.3 pounds ; 55% to 60%

  of the adult human body is water . Which is actually
  more than enough to drown in

. Men, because of muscle mass , a Schwarzenegger flex

  of patriarchy , are more apt to drown than women 
                                                      , which, like karma  

                                                      , can mean drowning in +’justment
, or a startled Lazurus resurrection
  surrounded by crime scene tape
                                                      under a land/locked , powder/blue
                                                      , half/domed swelter of summer sky 

. The fluid intractability of rage

  like an unextinguishable zombie fire
, like crashing river rapids obstinately cutting contours 
. A ghost radio haunted by Tina Weymouth’s lightening in a bottle 

  opening quarter notes to Psycho Killer

                . The national mythology , an iceberg a/massed , is exclusionary
                  and full of lies . Joseph Laroche is the sole Black man
                  who died on the Titanic . His last act , to save his wife and children
. The fluidity of John Henry driving railroad spikes

, like one voice and a singular-sounding road-worn Gibson
  howling an electrified cottonfield holla’ 
                          . Post-racial as an alice-blue cloudless day

                          , is such a prejudicial hue  
                            that is habitually mistaken for colorblind
. You brought me here ; now you tryin’

  to run me away . A Black Identity Extremist (B.I.E.)
  like an I.E.D. like a WMD , like the morning sky
                         darkened to an ominous gray , and Katrina

                         makes landfall . Seemingly a trauma
                         we can never wake from
                       ; which is actually more than enough to drown in  
                         . Anger is the umbrage 

                           sparked to a smoldering of tried our las’ nerve
                         !! Is the fluid hunger of why ? the zombie won’t die 
. The clockwork fluidity of graphic ghetto anecdotes 

. Gangsta rap’s bass-boom bravado
  is chaos with bullets holding midnight hostage
. The pandemic , and the police 

  are both a canary’s warning omen of asphyxiation 
  that lynched the signature breath control of Black folk out of our lives
                . Water flows the path of least resistance

                . A gallon of the Tallahatchie River weighs 8.3 pounds
                , historically more than enough to temporarily conceal a body 



[Of Icarus Sewn Into Air] Is Meta/phor The Atom Broken Free Of Its Electrons . His Father’s Thread Sewn Into His Veins [And Wings Laced To His Spine] . The Mechanical Anthropomorphic Motions That Hurtle Him Into Oblivion  
. No one won the war that they euphemized as Enduring Freedom—for God and family and my Nation—justified by the hate spread from ground zero’s toppled temples to widespread national greed . None of the invaders ever truly returned home , and most of those conquered no longer had a home , the dispossessed fled to foreign shores [a space/for within a foreign context] aliens in a place not their own—the invaders forever haunted by the screams and stench of death

and their plunder and pillage

of a place not their own . The tragic thing about war is that it never stays where you put it . The continued exterminations via the overcorrecting mandate of white Christendom , and stateside , the mass media along for the ride . We the People . . . in a Nation that fostered individuality , and free trade zones and outsourced slave labor and Global-I-zation , is an oxymoron . Is a collective mass delusion trying to kill its way to tomorrow , on repeat . A democratic landscape of purity—the bigoted breadth of the outside gaze

. . . this just in . We have breaking news

. . . Amerikkka has built a system of status where standing together is impossible . The dominant caste of every confrontation , an ectopic thru/space between the right to stand and what is really police brutality , might finally be retaliation’s ascent , or the backlash of shame . Every ass/umption is the brute calculus de-nigger-ating Black indigenous people of Color [the dispossessed] sans the etymology of history . The racist them 

, sunk to a lower , and corrupt and vicious State . The systemic racism . Is a virus . Is

who and what is infecting our lives and the Nation as we know it . Anyone/ or thing could become a weapon if encountered at sufficient velocity . All that we gain , achieve , surmount , as we accept our losses almost as if we had a choice , is the weight of the damned . It’s strange how we look to God as if He were salvation , but know intuitively , is only oblivion . All of our senses alive to the danger that lurks in the crevices of

the city’s sounds , and our eyes whiskey/dark as our rage/full of rusting umbrage 

. And in the end , when we confront the Mystery , will there be empirical evidence to prove that our faith is fact ? is justified ? or just more something we cannot trust ? God might be a racist , might exists only because our desperation created Him , despite He does nothing about the whole rot of rancid white supremacy . We believe because everyone else said it was salvation , that God is always on our side , based on what

, exactly ? for centuries , He has never done . All our history , dependent 

upon a God who moves in mysterious ways
                                                                       , but has never saved a one of us .



henry 7. reneau, jr. does not Twitter, Tik Tok, Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram. It is not that he is scared of change, or stuck fast in the past; instead, he has learned from experience that the crack pipe kills. His work is published in Superstition Review, TriQuarterly, Poets Reading the News, Prairie Schooner, Zone 3 and Rigorous. His work has also been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. He lives on the land that Amerikkkan mythology wants the world to believe was solely discovered, tamed, and ‘sivilized by white people.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Thursday, May 9, 2024 - 20:59