March 27, 2013

Poem of the Week: Pangaea


Sendolo Diamanah 

a queer black man is not
like asia
with lungs the size of the old union of soviets
and india lodged like a heart under ribs

despite Bahia’s longing to settle once more inside an African pelvis
(i am) not like south america
forced westward by magma

a queer black man is
from a time when the word continent could find no body on
which to be born and pronounced
no one male or female was there to record
what may have occurred
and so
our geography is not of interest
in the signing of treaties about carbon or sanctions against iran,
nor in the managing of economies that consume the future

in the age of men, agriculture, domesticated dogs, private property,
condoms, televised religion,
water bills
queer black men burn like everything else prehistoric
our love, unwieldy like a mastodon
survives under the pressure of a trillion tons of sediment
as something called crude
extracted only to power the technologies of other genders

we groan, as any planet does
when we remember how our skin was burst apart in order
to transform the earth into a map laid flat—that is to say,
into men and women

[It is difficult to describe how thrilled I am to be posting this poem.
First, because it is a fine and subtle creation in its own right. 
Second, because it is a sneak preview of  a collection of the writer's poetry and other works due to be published soon, under the title Difficult Miracles.
Best of all, by me, is the fact that Sendolo Diamanah is the newly elected general secretary of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization/Organización Socialista del Camino para la Libertad, the group I have been a proud member of since its founding in 1985.]

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