Dane Swan in A Mingus Lullaby displays a piercing humanity.
gess dey scuuured. Cawl de men in da white suites,/tayk me to da pinkhouse on de hill, da funny fawm,/giv’ me a room wit pillows on da wallz, takeway/mi turntable, hav da priest pray ova me, tell mi repent!/I do no such ting! ‘least ma mine iz free. ‘least deez songs/still wit me.
This is the concluding stanza to “Lullaby” which narrates the tale of a music lover that skips church on Sundays and comes to this unhappy end. Swan captures voice well. And not always to achieve pathos.
If it wasn’t for decorum
(and laws) my Hell-o’-Weens
would be a play on irony.
Assaulting Black-faced White people,
While wearing Blackface,
screaming, “Black on Black crime!”
Or eschew irony, wear a white hood
and call them nigger right before I attack.
Watch the glint of innocence
in their eyes fade —
reliving my acts of tyranny on tear-filled pillows
I know I am, but what are you?
This from “Fear — a work in two voices”.
And so for day 2039