“Blacks’ Arts” by Travis Craig

March 15, 2018

This poem is part of our #BlackLivesMatter special issue, guest-edited by Katrina Otuonye. Read more at our #BlackLivesMatter2018 tag.

Blacks’ Arts

everything else plus the reality of revolution

part machinery
part creatively raging war

part violent void of wasted madness
seeking wishful fact needed for validity and/or beauty

thus further discovering form and feeling
technical aesthetic consideration

space

time

adequately

here

enough to say this is sufficient

this completes the picture

this supports
reflects
contributes to

revolution

is valid
boxed
symmetry

is blown-out so-called music

is based on tradition and reason

functional
experience

collective
african
coincidence

that is to say
doctrine
doctored
somewhere else

blacks’ arts like assassins

who kill
shoot
and pull out tongues

blacks’ arts like fat white women
leaning
loosely
against the railing

blacks’ arts as some destroyed shoeshine boy

blacks’ arts like characteristically real
black
people
returned to Technicolor

a relationship no different than unproductive existence to context
to afroamericanism
to context

to freedom
to be held accountable to the collective

versus elevation
to freedom
to context

versus personality versus individuality
to context

versus unity
to freedom
to context

versus freedom
to form

 

Travis CraigTravis Craig is a writer, visual artist, and musician based in Birmingham, AL. His novel, 99 City, is available from Kyteflyte Press.

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