discount ritual in 4 parts:
"Bag of Afro"

afro     on          skull

skull    wrap     brain

brain   hatch    dreds

dreds   come    calling

calling me        dred

dread   catch    brain

brain    wrack   skull

skull     shed     afro

afro in bag

                "you gonna keep that?"

afro in bag

                "yeah        for remembering

afro in bag

                 could be used against me

afro in bag

                 someone working both hands!!!

afro in bag

                 in closet       with katana

afro in bag

                 in box with stories
                 of devil deals in pool halls
                 nightmares in barbershops
                 & a voodoo kitchen
                 & a hoodoo kitchen 

& afro in bag

                 & matches in kitchen

& afro in pot

                 & smoke in kitchen

& afro in flames

                 & cinders in sink

& the apartment stink
                                                like hoodoo gone bad

& the apartment stink

                                                like secrets let out

& the apartment stink

                                                with the fear of it all

The Poet As Setting

The jolt that comes to bones inside a tumbled streetcar

is what the painter considers as she strokes her-
self into story. There is less to the jolt that

comes as he shuts his eyes before the monitor, save

what he imagines—a lightning bolt, a god tapping
the shoulder. He imagines the sky swelling

with ceiling fans or the guano of extinct birds,

a jolt riding from his shoulder
blades to his eyelids, dropping with roller

coaster clacks to his fingers. Here, he dreams of Frida

Kahlo. Here, he says, let me spread my flesh out like a
table linen, let my bones be silver that touches,

making, again, that clack. My skull will be a glass,

set properly, I have class enough. What jolt is
it to chew over class, his body set before him as

a reader sips (perhaps) a glass of something heady? We give

books spines, we break them. The table will have
its legs, its head. The body is upon us. Does the table have

a stomach? Is it simply there to bear our hunger

without its own, like a eunuch bathing a stripper?
What is the poet without eyes or ears—reading, listening? He is

a platform—a place to set, that to set it with. And if this is

all, what will he do when the reader finishes a glass,
rises from the poet's head, and passes

into the city? Covered with a linen, he is waiting for

something to spill, perhaps a girl in Mexico rolling
her ankle in a street-