Spotlighting Pan-African Poetry

Biography

Let Me Go Nodding

Enlarge poem

Long time
Long time ago
Came boat black
Came side child
Came seven cobra raised
Came sullen cloud on dripstone

Let me go nodding
off to the primal music
that swings the staffed tune.
Let me go nodding
with my ears albatrossed
on a scaffold of baritones
(to the clang of cymbals riveted).
Let me go nodding
to my stained incisors
to my blue hospital gown barely spoken
to my dominions of teeming toenails
to my misappropriated stares.
Let me go. Let me go nodding
like I dreamed last night
when a wolf pinned me to the table
under the yellowing lamination of Victoria Falls.
Let me go, let me go nodding
to the anorexic girl in the halter top
peering up from the frayed corners of the Boston Phoenix
in a subway car in 1978, oh let me go nodding.
not like junkies mid-stream
not like truck drivers mutilated by light
not like security guards tottering on the edge of shifts
not like sperm spent to awkward moment…

What sparks this missive?

1. My five-year-old daughter caught
in mid arabesque.
2. The missing face of my great-grandmother
sullen and stoic,
extending her constellated hand.

T.J. Anderson

Featured Poem:

Naima

Enlarge poem

–John Coltrane

The severed head of a raven
nailed to the bedroom door.
The wilted Madonna lily
on the night table,
clothes— cerements.

In this obsidian room
night races to its apex.
Sprawled in a snare of sheets,
shock of hair distorting my face.
I smell the sour sap of my body.

I am a cockroach
cutting through my left thigh,
a nocturnal piranha
gorging on my tail,
a crucible of childhood.

Jackal of the tomb,
resurrect me from myself.

*

I rise from the bed,
drift to the stereo,
finger a groove.
The needle levitates.

I hear the smooth swish
of the tenor saxophone,
floating, cascading
into a soft susurrus of notes.

T.J. anderson

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  • Amusement (0)
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  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

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Biography

T.J. Anderson III is an associate professor of English at Hollins University and was former Fulbright Scholar in Cairo, Egypt. His poetry has been published in the Sarasota Review of Poetry, Sulfur, lift, Callaloo, and Indiana Review.  He is the author of At Last Round Up (lift books, 1996) and  River to Cross (The Backwaters Press, 2009) and a critical book on jazz poetry Notes to Make the Sound Come Right: Four Innovators of Jazz Poetry was published in 2004 by University of Arkansas Press.

T.J. Anderson

T.J. anderson
T.J. anderson

Biography

T.J. Anderson III is an associate professor of English at Hollins University and was former Fulbright Scholar in Cairo, Egypt. His poetry has been published in the Sarasota Review of Poetry, Sulfur, lift, Callaloo, and Indiana Review.  He is the author of At Last Round Up (lift books, 1996) and  River to Cross (The Backwaters Press, 2009) and a critical book on jazz poetry Notes to Make the Sound Come Right: Four Innovators of Jazz Poetry was published in 2004 by University of Arkansas Press.

Let Me Go Nodding

Enlarge poem

Long time
Long time ago
Came boat black
Came side child
Came seven cobra raised
Came sullen cloud on dripstone

Let me go nodding
off to the primal music
that swings the staffed tune.
Let me go nodding
with my ears albatrossed
on a scaffold of baritones
(to the clang of cymbals riveted).
Let me go nodding
to my stained incisors
to my blue hospital gown barely spoken
to my dominions of teeming toenails
to my misappropriated stares.
Let me go. Let me go nodding
like I dreamed last night
when a wolf pinned me to the table
under the yellowing lamination of Victoria Falls.
Let me go, let me go nodding
to the anorexic girl in the halter top
peering up from the frayed corners of the Boston Phoenix
in a subway car in 1978, oh let me go nodding.
not like junkies mid-stream
not like truck drivers mutilated by light
not like security guards tottering on the edge of shifts
not like sperm spent to awkward moment…

What sparks this missive?

1. My five-year-old daughter caught
in mid arabesque.
2. The missing face of my great-grandmother
sullen and stoic,
extending her constellated hand.

Featured Poem:

Naima

Enlarge poem

–John Coltrane

The severed head of a raven
nailed to the bedroom door.
The wilted Madonna lily
on the night table,
clothes— cerements.

In this obsidian room
night races to its apex.
Sprawled in a snare of sheets,
shock of hair distorting my face.
I smell the sour sap of my body.

I am a cockroach
cutting through my left thigh,
a nocturnal piranha
gorging on my tail,
a crucible of childhood.

Jackal of the tomb,
resurrect me from myself.

*

I rise from the bed,
drift to the stereo,
finger a groove.
The needle levitates.

I hear the smooth swish
of the tenor saxophone,
floating, cascading
into a soft susurrus of notes.

How does this featured poem make you feel?

  • Amazement (0)
  • Pride (0)
  • Optimism (0)
  • Anger (0)
  • Delight (0)
  • Inspiration (0)
  • Reflection (0)
  • Captivation (1)
  • Peace (0)
  • Amusement (0)
  • Sorrow (0)
  • Vigour (0)
  • Hope (0)
  • Sadness (0)
  • Fear (0)
  • Jubilation (0)

Let Me Go Nodding

Enlarge poem

Long time
Long time ago
Came boat black
Came side child
Came seven cobra raised
Came sullen cloud on dripstone

Let me go nodding
off to the primal music
that swings the staffed tune.
Let me go nodding
with my ears albatrossed
on a scaffold of baritones
(to the clang of cymbals riveted).
Let me go nodding
to my stained incisors
to my blue hospital gown barely spoken
to my dominions of teeming toenails
to my misappropriated stares.
Let me go. Let me go nodding
like I dreamed last night
when a wolf pinned me to the table
under the yellowing lamination of Victoria Falls.
Let me go, let me go nodding
to the anorexic girl in the halter top
peering up from the frayed corners of the Boston Phoenix
in a subway car in 1978, oh let me go nodding.
not like junkies mid-stream
not like truck drivers mutilated by light
not like security guards tottering on the edge of shifts
not like sperm spent to awkward moment…

What sparks this missive?

1. My five-year-old daughter caught
in mid arabesque.
2. The missing face of my great-grandmother
sullen and stoic,
extending her constellated hand.

Comments

Your email address will not be published.