Derrick Weston Brown

 

HURRICANE KATRINA HAIKU

I
The submerged sign reads
Welcome to Elysian Fields
As bodies float bye.

II
Waiting for rescue
He drinks his own pale urine
As the copters pass

III
Draped in Old Glory
A corpse lies still beneath a
Super dome shadow.

IV
How Shakespearean
In the wake of Katrina
Ophelia waits

 

 

THIRTY MILE WOMAN
Sweet Home Men Series
For Toni Morrison

I  ask
the wind for
guidance. In
this place.
the trees know me now
Earth is still earth
and Black-eyed-susans
do not differ
so much
from African
violets.
They want me to speak
the tubob talk.
Stop
the dancing,
so I may not
find myself.
When I am lost
you find me.
Gather me
when I am pieces.
Gather me.       Love

the pieces that
I am.
Give me back to me
in all the right
order,
friend of my mind.
I have
asked permission
of all creation
to let us meet.
I would walk
any
length.
Time is your
hard breath
in the field.
I move
when the wind
wills it,
we have tomorrow and today.
Thirty mile woman,
meet me at the crossroads.

 

 


OL'’ MAN STRENGTH
For Cornelius Eady

“"Being old don't make you no fool,  They's whole lotta young wise men out there deader than a muthafucka."”—Mudbone aka Richard Pryor

“"Sometimes you gotta find a way around those young cats."”—Cornelius Eady

I
Miles had to do it.
Toward the end, he only
Peppered his tracks with
Muted trumpet bursts.

Freddie Hubbard too….

You gotta realize he was an old geezer by then
And you gotta find your way around those young cats,
that step into the game hungry, cocksure,
looking for belts to take, starting spots.
Even Jordan did it.

Developed a post-up
spin-turn
jumper,
and stutter step
off of the dribble pull-up,
that still caught Kobe off guard.
Drew a foul every time
by playing on youth's anxiousness.

Gotta find a way around those young cats.

II
I almost fought an older
man over a woman,
once.

Stepped to him with
bare handed thunder and lightning
cursing.

I'm gonna kick yo' rusty ass!
You ain't my daddy!
Prove that shit then!!

He didn't even breathe hard
When he pulled out his .22

I pulled out my deepest apologies.
Let the bass air out of my voice
like a punctured tire,
a shrieking deflated balloon.

Sir please forgive my trespass
and  transgressions.
I meant no disrespect.
I'll be on my way, won't
Darken your door step.
Excuse me, My bad, Sir..
Mister Sir….
He found a way around this young cat.

 

 

CONCERNING MAY

Version: 1

Your midnight shoulder is the sloping horizon
My full moon lips scale as goose bumps rise awakened.

Version:1.5

Your midnight shoulder bared
The sloping horizon
my full lips scale to
rouse sleeping goose bumps.

Version:2.0

Your midnight shoulder
bared  the sloping horizon
my full moon lips scale
to rouse sleeping goosebumps

Version 2.5

To rouse sleeping goosebumps
your bared midnight  shoulder
is the sloping horizon
my full moon lips will scale.

 

Derrick Weston Brown has studied poetry under Dr. Tony Medina at Howard University and Cornelius Eady at American University, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from American University. His work has appeared in DrumVoices Review, The New Orleans Times-Picayune, Black Issues & Book Reviews, and the Cave Canem Poetry Anthologies of 2002 and 2003. He is a native of Charlotte, NC and currently resides in Mount Rainier, MD. He is a Cave Canem fellow and the poet-in-residence at Busboys & Poets bookstore and restaurant.

Published in Volume 7, Number 1, Winter 2006.

 

To read more by this author:
Derrick Weston Brown: DC Places Issue
Derrick Weston Brown: Langston Hughes Tribute Issue