Is included. A handmaiden bill- receipt
a recipe blitz, apples to apples barbecue
sizzling with starving artists, elders,
degenerate writers, our lovely blemish
& I still have acne. Always will
this is what democracy looks like
am I being too economical? Shall I
insert here insert here insert here
adjusting for more tit picture plane
teach only canonized flash drives?
I don’t know. I’m just guessing
at the furniture, I’m still a small kazoo
tooting my own horn, working reed beat
entry level human, sellable Black craft
tricking for Oligarch Papacy Corp.
butt back to work. my safe cultural access:
Dirty, dirty wretched sand
how you speak
for all the land
change me into currency
and I will totally worship
(This is a large large brick
strapped to a ransom note
& the first window I see
I am going to lunge you)
A History Marker
for James Baldwin
Black divination: rush into the streets.
looking for amputated tusks,
elephantine graveyard criss crossing my back.
In the imprint of bedsheets
slammed shut against my throat
we walk looking for our dead.
Somewhere, memory, the making place
over archaic syllables, mastering stutters
putting away the glass bowls of show & tell
words reclaimed from the laboring fish
words elegiac & funneled into ointment
with leftover skin hanging in the corners,
tiny flesh parachutes netted by women
singing while they emerge in their work
clapping out a djembe family puzzle
I’m carried here preparing on iron floor
of sand dirt rocks clay gathering face
for big mamas & big papas blueprints
our eyes maced by the long water
the people in uniform waiting, shark-like
surrounding the circle we’ve made.
It’s about the shipped remains
the holocaust from within
I have no business savy. Mistaken rep
Hurry blindsided, my old dialect
Jive-twist, innocuous handlebars.
Down carefully never works. Pine
Hurt like lye.The deep courier bath.
Newspaper articles turning the water
black, blue, red, green. E says
your story isn’t legible. Lascaux.
A toucan with a large, large nose.
I ordered for coyote. claw unhinged
& the head, now trundled below the staircase.
We think one of the cats stole it for reparations.
They rebel, like me, they throw cocktails back
At the bartender. I wasn’t meant to have this.
I wasn’t meant to give you permission, despite
Your dreams of them. touching holy things
Unprepared. A macaw loses her feathers.
I am going to break her rule of breaking rule
so the gist of it. that sounded like a diet soda.
Spraying tombs with blue one yellow five
We’re working tough & splatter heavy,
removing faces on coin. Heads or tails.
Transdermal versus oral. Doesn’t matter,
Legacy liabilities sink in and we awake
With a post-modern sense of thrush.
I’m going to reign you in. all of you.
By burning my cage where rebel crosses
used to be. All those running bears are
coming in handy. I ask them how big
can paws become. You don’t want to
know. so grow it, grow it I say. hi-rise
where we are ants. Practicing.
Nikki Wallschlaeger is a Black american poet from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is the author of one chapbook, Head Theatre ( 2007) which etched itself out of her palms unexpectedly. Her hands continue to talk, which is why she writes. Publications include Nervehouse and The Smoking Poet. When she’s not writing, she plays the djembe drum in a radical community marching band, The Milwaukee Molotov Marchers, with her partner and son as a form of symbiotic exercise.