Saturday, January 1, 2011

Kelly Norman Ellis


Lasyrenn’s hair like
a rope
my locks are the new golden lasso,
I am Oya rocking hurricanes.
I am the protector of your dead
my mother is Marie Laveau
my daddy Stagolee
I am the earth shaker
protector of women
do u know me?
I’m your mother
say my name
I am the squatting
not a white girl in tights but
the real one-breasted amazon
riding a black unicorn
protector of all the scribbling women
in attics
the one who comes when you call
like Eartha’s Catwoman
flirt, tease, you want me
I don’t have time
I’m into ruining shit
liberator of
defender of drag queens, of the butch and the femme
I will come when you whisper
in the dark
when you cry
when you scream like your mother did
I will bring you satisfaction
on a platter
I live in the Chino batmobile
I ride the City of New Orleans
like a bullet between my legs
I am protector of
and 28 days of the moon
of bruised
plum women
the lynched
the raped.
on my cape is an SI am the blood
you see when you peel
back skin, the burst of life
in the back of the throat
the forbidden fruit.
my uncle was Sango
so I am protector
of righteous men.
turn down your volume
I am protector of Black Presidents
of translucent truth.
Steel toe boots, gold tooth
locks hot to the touch
you know me
I am

-previously published at The Rumpus

Raised By Women

I was raised by
Chitterling eating
Vegetarian cooking
Cornbread so good you want to lay
down and die baking"
Go on baby, get yo’self a plate"
Kind of Women.

Some thick haired
Angela Davis afro styling"
Girl, lay back
and let me scratch yo head"
Sorta Women.

Some big legged
High yellow, mocha brown
Hip shaking
Miniskirt wearing
Hip huggers hugging
Daring debutantes
I know I look good"
Type of Women.

Some tea sipping
White glove wearing
Got married too soon
in just the nick of time"
Better say yes ma’
am to me"
Type of sisters.

Some fingerpopping
Boogaloo dancing
Say it loud
I’m black and I’m proud
James Brown listening"
Go on girl shake that thing"
Kind of Sisters.

Some face slapping
Hands on hips"
Don't mess with me,
Pack your bags and
get the hell out of my house"
Sorta women

Some PhD toten
Poetry writing
Portrait painting"
I'll see you in court"
World traveling
Stand back, I'm creating
Type of queens

I was raised by women


even though it is only march
today is warm like may
so the men have decided to walk home
from the make-a-way-outa-no-way
jobs they do
their blue work shirts
with white name patches over the breast
sweat dried to their chest like tears
they saunter toward the simmer
of liver onions rice
cause work is over
and it is warm
like sunday suppertime
it is a warm march tocay
and children run home
from johnson elemetary
winter coats braced abouth their hips
they shout each other's nanes
trey and nay-naylike some long satisfied song
laughs dance with the scent of fried fish
from the cafe down the street
they pretend its summer
and take out their bikes
and pedal like wind
cause school is out
and it is warm
like honey buns in the sun

and the whispering mexican men
turn their cap brims west
while they move east
down the rock of concrete
they keep their cowboy boots on
but lose their jackets
cause it is warm
like morning cheese toast
and the guy up the street
the one with the blond streaked wig
puts on hot pants
showing the tina turnerness of his legs
catwalks to the corner
for a diet coke and salems
and nobody calls him a punk
cause it is warm like cinnamon fired apples

and i am on my front porch
playing harold melvin and the bluenotes
teddy pendergrass thawing my insides
wake up everbody
no more sleeping in bed
no more backwards thinking
time for think ahead
we all trying to defrost
and savor the heat
cause it is only march
but warm like my mama's lap

-both poems previously published at Coal Black Voices


you wore blue peddle pushers and polka dot tops
saturday mornings
when sun still spoke
through a screenless window above the sink
and the radio rested on its ledge
holding the jive of a dj papa
"the sounds of soul w-o-j-k"
rested between some newly womanish hips
your hands submerged in lemon joy and breakfast dishes
while the bottoms of bare feet
slopped and
to four tops
impressions and
you were a girl with dixie peach bangs
hugging pink sponge rollers
and cashmere bouquest sprinkled
in the crease of not long opened breasts
who dreamed of boys
talking in poems
and moving in beauty like marvin gaye
will you remember this girl when you are woman
will you remember to love her whens she dances
across your dreams and kisses you
like a daugther
on your lips?

-previously published in Siprit & Flame

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