poetry quarterly

10th anniversary


Randall Horton



forget about revisionist history or the body.
say xenophobia. but say it backwards, now

plainly, to the holy ignant this be not a test,
extract arizona from the alphabet take back

the illegal naming of things, take back natives
trying to love pilgrims pulled up by a hand:

take back murderers who invented whiteness.
i am not post or post-racial or post-human. i am

color-constructed & you can’t take it back,
i am melanin, & perhaps, we have lost our minds.

some laws are bullshit & poems need to bite,
spit venom, rebel-rouse. say muthafuck that:

rapid firing like machine guns into the absurd.
question: where is the espada of this generation?

fuck a law, muthafuck arizona, fuck beneficiaries
from plantations: okay say illegal now. perhaps

irony is a cold bitch, invert madness. rata-tat-
tap someone with love from a bullet who dares

to gain from privilege. say you must-be crazy
while digging a good-foot out of somebody’s ass.


Randall Horton is the author of The Definition of Place and The Lingua Franca of Ninth Street, both from Main Street Rag. Randall is the recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Bea Gonzalez Poetry Award and most recently a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Literature. His creative and critical work has most recently appeared in Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, and The Packingtown Review. Horton is a Cave Canem Fellow, a member of the Affrilachian Poets and a member of The Symphony: The House that Etheridge Built. He has a MFA in Poetry from Chicago State University and a PhD in Creative Writing from SUNY Albany. Horton is Assistant Professor of English at the University of New Haven.


Published in Volume 13, Number 1, Winter 2012.

To read more by this author:
Randall Horton: Langston Hughes Tribute Issue