- Jamaal Jackson Converts Mike to Islam
Indiana Youth Center, 1993
The name's Jamaal Jackson,but that was given by the puppet master.See, there's puppets, masters, and puppet mastersand minions, and minions to the minionsand bad ass wolves in Stacey Adamswho tap dance on roots, and by rootsI don't mean the nappy curb on your foreheadbut that river running through your dream.You see it before laying your domeon a steel bench, it wakes youscreaming, looking to punch anythingwith two eyes. Brother don't you knowJesus was from Bed-Stuy, that Marywas a jazz singer from Harlem. Don't you knowyou come from sophisticated songbirds,that there's a Viduidae in your tree.You're more than a bad niggerwith a bad knee, more than your fornications,than the knives flying out your eyes.Rejoice in knowing we're all an Xaway from sunshine. [End Page 83]
Derrick Harriell, a native of Milwaukee, WI, is an assistant professor of English and African American studies at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. He is author of Cotton, a volume of poems. Ropes, his second book of poems, will be published during the fall of 2013.